08:42 PM


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 13, 2016

MEDIA CONTACT: Catalina Tresky, (202) 772-0253 or ctresky@defenders.org


WASHINGTON (December 13, 2016) – President-elect Donald Trump will nominate Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and former Texas governor Rick Perry as secretary of energy, as reported today in The New York Times, CBS and other national media outlets.

The following is a statement from CEO and President of Defenders of Wildlife, Jamie Rappaport Clark (Twitter: @JClarkprez): 

“How many threats to our environment can fit into one Cabinet? With the announced nominations of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and former governor Rick Perry as secretary of energy, it looks like President-elect Trump can make room for two more.

“Mr. Tillerson has used his leadership at Exxon Mobil, the firm at fault for the devastating Exxon-Valdez oil spill in Alaska, to promote fossil fuel development here and around the world. That makes him the wrong choice for America’s premier diplomatic position, which should be focused on promoting ways to use less, not more oil to further our nation’s international and domestic climate change agreements and strategies.

“Mr. Perry is a notorious climate change denier and no friend to the environment. He was a staunch supporter of fossil fuel extraction throughout his 14 years as governor of Texas. As nominee for secretary of energy, Mr. Perry is a poor choice to address the real effects of climate change, a looming threat to wildlife, the economy and national security.

“This is becoming an alarming and unmistakable trend. Taken with the nomination of Scott Pruitt for the Environmental Protection Agency and the expected nomination of Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers to lead the Department of the Interior, the selection of Mr. Tillerson and Mr. Perry demonstrates Mr. Trump’s determination to surround himself with Cabinet appointees who have spent their whole careers in fundamental opposition to the core mission of the agencies they are being nominated to lead.”


The mission of the Department of Energy is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions. The secretary of energy is tasked with supporting the president’s goals of protecting the environment, growing the economy and enhancing security. The secretary is charged with advancing the president’s directives on energy strategy, promoting American leadership in science and energy technology innovation, maintaining the nuclear deterrent and reducing the nuclear danger and strengthening management and performance.

The mission of the Department of State is to create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community. The secretary of state, appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate, is the president's chief foreign affairs adviser. The secretary carries out the president's foreign policies through the Department of State, which includes the Foreign Service, Civil Service and U.S. Agency for International Development.


Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org. For the latest news from Defenders, follow us at @DefendersNews.