We continue our conversation about ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, whom Donald Trump is expected to nominate for secretary of state. Speaking on "Face the Nation" Sunday, Sen. John McCain said Tillerson should be given a fair hearing but reiterated his concerns about Tillerson’s ties with Putin. One of the enormous deals that Vladimir Putin and Rex Tillerson worked on was a $500 billion oil exploration partnership between Exxon and the Russian government’s oil company, Rosneft.
The Obama administration blocked the deal when it imposed sanctions against Russia for its intervention in the Ukraine. In a recent column for ThinkProgress titled "Trump, Putin, and ExxonMobil team up to destroy the planet," Joe Romm, founding editor of Climate Progress, writes, "This deal could explain why Putin appears to have interfered in U.S. elections in favor of a Trump victory." Romm goes on to say, "if the sanctions are lifted?—?something a new Secretary of State could help make happen?—?it would pay off big time for Exxon. … Imagine … if the oil giant is freed to produce and sell oil on the staggering 63.7 million acres of Russian land it leases, which is over 5 times the amount of land it leases in this country. Happy days are here again, for Exxon."