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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  December 12, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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12/12/16 12/12/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! mr. trump: a company that has been unbelievably managed. to me, a great advantage is he owns many of the players and knows them well. he does massive deals in russia. for the company. amy: president-elect trump is expected to soon pick exxonmobil ceo rex tillerson as secretary of state. tillerson is already facing criticism for his close ties to russian president vladimir putin and for exxon's role in covering up the link between burning
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fossil fuels and global warming. we will speak to a number of guests including bill mckibben, co-founder of 350.org. >> mr. tillerson was boasting about how the company was going out and making new finds oil in new places around the world. we have five times as much carbon in our reserves already as we can burn. the idea with should celebrate the expiration for new hydrocarbons at this point -- it is passed irony that some dark place that i don't really have a name for. amy: all of that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president-elect donald trump is expected to name exxonmobil ceo rex tillerson as secretary of state. the selection prompted outrage and condemnation among environmental groups. exposes by insideclimate news and the "los angeles times" reveal exxon knew that fossil
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fuels cause global warming as early as the 1970's, but hid that information from the public, and instead poured millions of dollars into pr efforts aimed at sowing doubt over the science of climate change. responding to the possible nomination, 350.org executive director may boeve said -- "exxonmobil is still a leading funder of climate denial and is pursuing a business plan that will destroy our future. tillerson deserves a federal investigation, not federal office." tillerson has spent the past 41 years at exxon, where he became chair and chief executive more than a decade ago. he has no experience in government service, nor in the diplomatic corps. donald trump praised tillerson during an appearance on "fox news sunday." mr. trump: he is much more than a visited executive. he is a world-class player. he is in charge of the largest company in the world. he is in charge of an oil
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company that is pretty much doubled the size of this next serious competitor. it has been a company that has been unbelievably managed. to me, a great advantage is he knows many of the players and he knows them well. he does massive deals in russia -- for the company. amy: tillerson is known to have close ties to russian president vladimir putin, who awarded him the country's order of friendship decoration in 2013. both senate democrats and republicans have expressed concern over the potential nomination. this is arizona republican senator john mccain, speaking on cbs' "face the nation." >> a matter of concern to me is a close personal relationship with vladimir putin. they have done enormous deals together, that that would color his approach to vladimir putin and the russian threat. news of tillerson's selection amy: came a day after president obama ordered a review of russia's role in influencing the presidential election.
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the cia has reportedly concluded russia intervened in the election to help trump win. this is incoming senate minority leader, chuck schumer of new york. >> for years, foreign adversaries have directed cyber attacks at america's physical, economic, and military infrastructure while stealing our intellectual property. now our democratic institutions have been targeted. recent reports of russian interference in our election should alarm every american. amy: donald trump rejected allegations that russia aided his electoral college victory as ridiculous. in a statement, the trump transition team said -- "these are the same people that said saddam hussein had weapons of mass destruction." meanwhile, donald trump was questioned by chris wallace of "fox news sunday" over his plans to skip daily presidential intelligence briefings. >> i want to ask you about your
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skepticism of the intelligence committee. you're getting the presidential daily brief only once a week. mr. trump: well, i get it when i need it. >> is are some skepticism? mr. trump: first of all, they are very good people that are giving me the briefings. if something should change from this point, immediately call me. i am available at one minutes notice. i don't have to be told -- like a smart person, i don't have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years. amy: during his interview on "fox news sunday," trump also promised he would quickly decide the fate of the dakota access and keystone xl pipelines once taking office. he said he was studying the paris climate agreement to seegr countries an advantage over the u.s. trump's comments came just days after the trump transition team sent a memo to employees of the department of energy, questioning their work on climate change. the 74-page questionnaire requests, among other things, information on which employees attended u.n. climate talks, and demands justification for a
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program tracking the nation's carbon dioxide pollution. one energy department employee, speaking anonymously, told reuters -- "this feels like the first draft of an eventual political enemies list." in international news, syrian government forces backed by intense russian airstrikes have captured most of eastern aleppo, pinning down remaining anti-government fighters in a tiny part of the city. the offensive is now poised to give president bashar al-assad of syria one of his biggest victories in the nearly six-year-old civil war. reuters is reporting that rebels in aleppo have been offered a u.s.-backed proposal that would see them put down their weapons in exchange for safe passage to a place of their choice. russia is denying any such deal has been reached. elsewhere in syria, fighters with the self-proclaimed islamic state have recaptured the ancient city of palmyra, along with surrounding oil and gas fields. isis previously held palmyra from may of 2015 until last
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march, when its fighters were driven out by fighters from syria, russia, and lebanon's hezbollah militia. palmyra is home to about 50,000 people, and its ancient ruins are a unesco world heritage site. many of the ruins, which date back to the roman empire, were destroyed by isis the last time the group held the city. in turkey, a pair of bombs ripped through crowds outside an istanbul soccer stadium on saturday night, killing 38 people and wounding 166 others. a splinter group of the banned kurdish workers' party, or pkk, claimed responsibility for the bombings. in response, turkish president recep tayyip erdogan convened an emergency security meeting and vowed to crush kurdish militants. >> what we must focus on is this terror burden. our people should have no doubt we will continue our battle against terror until the end. if they plan to intimidate us
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with these attacks, we have not degraded ourselves to leave the arena to these cowards. amy: a report by amnesty international last week estimated a half-million people have been forced from their homes in southeastern turkey amid a brutal government crackdown in majority-kurdish regions. in egypt, a bomb exploded during sunday mass in cairo's main coptic christian cathedral, killing 25 people and wounding nearly 50 others. the blast tore apart pews and seared pillars, leaving at least six children among the dead. there's been no claim of responsibility. it was the worst violence against egypt's minority christian population since a series of attacks in 2011. meanwhile in somalia, a suicide truck on exploded as somalia's biggest port sunday, killing at least 29 people. militants from the group also bob have claimed responsibility. france's socialist government will ask parliament to extend a state of emergency granting officials sweeping powers of search, seizure, and detention.
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if approved, it would be the fifth such renewal of emergency rule since a terrorist attack in november of 2015 that killed 130 people. the french prime minister said the extension was needed at least through presidential and general elections next spring. >> each of us should bear in mind the reality, the context we are living in, and particularly high level of terrorist threat. amy: france's emergency rule curtails freedom of assembly and includes measures that permit police raids without a warrant. human rights watch has said the emergency powers undermine human rights and the rule of law. in alabama thursday night a , condemned prisoner heaved and coughed for nearly minutes, 15 after prison officials injected him with the first of three drugs meant to stop his heart. witnesses to the execution said ronald bert smith moved his lips, clenched a fist, and opened one eye after prison officials administered him the sedative midazolam, a drug that
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has been linked to other botched executions. the execution came after the u.s. supreme court declined to intervene in smith's case, on a 4-to-4 tie vote. smith was placed on death row in after a judge overruled a jury's 1994 decision to sentence him to life in prison. alabama is the only u.s. state to allow that practice. in denver, colorado, mayor michael hancock says he will no longer order police to seize winter survival gear, including tents and sleeping bags, from the city's homeless residents. the move came after videos of officers snatching blankets from homeless men and women went viral. advocates for the homeless say the practice threatened the lives of people at risk of freezing to death. the u.s. senate has approved a bill granting $170 million to flint, michigan, to help replace pipes contaminated with toxic lead. flint's lead poisoning began last year when an unelected
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emergency manager appointed by michigan governor rick snyder switched the source of the city's drinking water to the corrosive flint river. today, the water in flint is still poisoned and unsafe to drink. meanwhile, environmentalists are warning of a provision of the bill which rolls back protection to california's bay delta estuary. they say the change threatens delicate ecosystems and undermines the endangere species act. in philadelphia, hundreds of people gathered friday for a march and protest to demand life-saving medication for imprisoned journalist and former black panther mumia abu-jamal, and for all pennsylvania prisoners suffering from the unconstitutional denial of treatment for their hepatitis c. the protest marked 35 years since december 9, 1981, when mumia abu-jamal was shot by philadelphia police, arrested and then charged with the murder , of white police officer daniel faulkner. mumia abu-jamal has always maintained his innocence.
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he has spent the majority of his time in prison on death row. this is baltimore reverend cd witherspoon. >> understand that when they took him off of death row, the strategy was for him to die sick given bars. but we're not going to allow for our brother to die behind bars because he fought for our liberation. and so brothers and sisters, we have to fight for him. we have to fight for him to receive dignity and respect. what kind of nation would have our brother be in prison and not to receive the proper medication that he deserves? i call that barbaric. amy: that is baltimore reverend cd witherspoon. colombian president juan manuel santos on saturday accepted the nobel peace prize for his role in crafting a peace deal with farc rebels, ending a half-century of civil war that left a quarter million people dead. at a ceremony in oslo, norway, president santos hailed the
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nobel prize as a "gift from heaven" and dedicated it to all colombians affected by the fighting. in his wide-ranging acceptance speech, santos also said nations , including the u.s. and colombia need to rethink the war , on drugs. >> it makes no sense to of roseed the present marijuana. and now it is, for example, its cultivation and use our legal in eight states of the united states. the manner in which this war against drugs is being waged is equally, or perhaps even more harmful than all of the wars the world is fighting today combined. it is time to change our strategy. amy: and the nobel committee presented prizes for medicine, economics, physics, chemistry and literature in a gala , ceremony in stockholm, sweden. notably absent was bob dylan, winner of this year's nobel
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prize for literature. accepting the award on his behalf was legendary singer, poet and author patti smith, who , performed "a hard rain's a-gonna fall." >> ♪ it's a hard it's a hard it's a hard gonna fall ♪ in amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president-elect donald trump is expected to name exxonmobil ceo rex tillerson as secretary of state. tillerson has served as ceo and chair of exxon since 2006. environmental groups have widely condemned the potential nomination. exxon is facing multiple lawsuits over its role in covering up the science behind climate change. in 2015, insideclimate news
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and "the los angeles times" revealed that exxonmobil's own research had confirmed the role of fossil fuels in global warming decades ago. by 1977, exxon's senior experts had begun to warn the burning of fossil fuels could pose a threat to humanity. exxon initially launched an ambitious research program to study carbon dioxide in the air and ocean. but toward the end of the 1980's, exxon changed course and shifted to the forefront of climate change denial. since the 1990's, it has spent millions of dollars funding efforts to reject the science its own experts knew of decades ago. exxon ceo rex tillerson is also known to have close ties to russian president vladimir putin. "the wall street journal" reports tillerson has known putin since "he represented exxon's interests in russia during the regime of boris yeltsin." in 2013, putin awarded tillerson the country's order of friendship decoration. to talk more about rex tillerson we're joined by three guests.
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, in washington, d.c., erich pica is with us. he is president of friends of the earth, usa. here in new york, carroll muffett is president and ceo of the center for international environmental law. personally subpoenaed by exxon in a case in texas seeking to stop an investigation into exxon's activities led by the massachusetts attorney general. 10 other individuals and organizations have also been subpoenaed. and we are joined via democracy now! video stream by bill mckibben, co-founder of 350.org. in 2014, bill mckibben was awarded the right livelihood prize, sometimes called the alternative nobel, for his work in environmental activism. author of a number of books including, "eaarth: making a life on a tough new planet." welcome to democracy now! we are going to begin today with carroll. talk about your response differing rex tillerson, the current ceo of exxon mobil,
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might be the secretary of state. >> i will say when the news first came out, i assumed it was a grim, practical broke. real, ourme more response is that it is irresponsible and it is unconscionable. it poses a threat not only to the planets, but to human rights. to put the ceo of exxon in charge of our negotiations on climate change, our negotiations on oil, on energy, on human , where it has a track record of abuses, is irresponsible. amy: what is your personal involvement here? why were you subpoenaed? >> you would have to ask exxon that. our best guess is that exxon subpoenaed me because of the work that my organization, the center for international environmental law, has done to expose exxon's history of climate research and its history of climate denial.
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our research published last summer demonstrated that exxon and its oil industry allies were actually doing climate research as early as 1957, and they had been warned by no later than 1968 that fossil fuels were directly linked to climate change. amy: what do you have to do? towe have filed objections the subpoena, noting that the subpoena is nothing more than a fishing expedition, that i am not a party to the case. and if you look at the subpoena that exxon has filed, it is clear goes beyond any issues in the case and a clear effort to intimidate and suppress those who have criticized the company. amy: that is interesting because at the same time -- and i want to ask erich pica this question -- you have this questionnaire, donald trumps transition team circulating a 74 part questionnaire at the department of energy, which request the
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names of employees who have attended climate talks over the last five years. from these subpoenas to a kind of -- well, would you call it in enemies list? >> absolutely. this dates back to the bread dating of mccarthyism. the head of the transition team, myron able, who is head of the energy and, transition team, he is with the competitive enterprise institute. he has been a funded exxonmobil climate denier and now he is using that position to go out and find the climate change enemies list in the department of energy and who knows how far he will go into the environmental protection agency, nasa -- all of these agencies that have something to do with climate change, easy vote appointees, the proposed appointees, as well as the transition team trying to undermine the trust, undermining capacity of the civil servants were doing really good work on
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behalf of the american people, undermining their capacity to address what is scientifically proven. and what they were doing on behalf of the obama administration. amy: let's back up and let me get your reaction, erich pica, to the possible nomination -- donald trump is not denying he is his first pick, but has not actually made that choice yet, maybe kind of floating this to see how people respond -- to exxon ceo rex tillerson being nominated as secretary of state. >> let's say i agree with carroll. at first i thought it was a joke. in thinking about it, rex tillerson should be indicted for corporate fraud and for lying to the american public, lying to the world, lying to their shareholders. he should be strung up in the company should be strong up in the court of law for fraud. instead, he is being rewarded by president-elect trump with
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perhaps one of the most important cabinet picks in the u.s. government. the head of the state department. so it is kind of this interesting and weird bizarre world that we are now living in underneath trump. , we arel mckibben reaching you at your home in vermont. has the snowstorm hit yet? >> just a little snowstorm this morning. it is beautiful, i must say. amy: can you talk about your thoughts when you heard the exxon ceo might be named secretary of state -- were nominated? it will have to go to congress. >> yes, it will. i think there will be some opposition in congress and across the aisle, perhaps. because not only is mr. actively engaged in front of slow progress on -- hee change, he also and his company are deeply
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embedded in the russian oil business. conflict of interest doesn't begin to cover the questions that are being raised by good reporters this morning. i will say, i was perhaps a little less surprised than erich and carroll by all of this. i think what is going on is the trump administration has decided to [indiscernible] they are fully engaged in full on climate denial and they are fully clients of the fossil fuel industry. you know, for a very long time, the fossil fuel industry has wielded undue power in our political affairs under both democratic and republican administrations. if you will recall, it was dick cheney and helping run
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dominatedn u.s. that the george w. bush administration. but in this case, they literally decided to try to out the middleman. and now the world's biggest fossil fuel company and many of the most recent years the most profitable company on earth, the biggest company the world has ever seen, is just a sickly going to be in charge of things. back in 1953ded me and 1954, what happened when secretary of state john foster dulles, who was a white color lawyer, representing united u.s., first in 1953, the -- and this is all document it now -- over to the democratically elected leader of iran on behalf of anglo iranian oil, the precursor to bp.
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and the next year, moved in on guatemala. secretary of state john foster dulles had represented united fruit of his corporate law firm. on behalf of united fruit, overthrew the democratically elected government of guatemala. your thoughts, bill mckibben? >> i think it is a perfectly good analogy. the only thing that makes it -- the damage we're talking about is going to be permanent. we are at an absolute critical moment in dealing with climate. we have just begun to get a tiny bit of momentum going from the right direction. the role of the trump administration is to stomp on that momentum. the president-elect said yesterday, no one can really know whether climate change is real or not. that is absurd. every, tele just knows it israel and billions of people around
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the earth know it is real because they're feeling it's effects. the most important player in the international team on this question is now going to come at the very least, take itself out of the game and more likely try hard to obstruct real progress. this damage won't last for decades, it will last for geologic time. amy: i would like to turn to a clip of exxon ceo rex tillerson during address to the council on foreign relations in 2012. he said fears about climate change are overblown. >> clearly, there is one to be an impact. i'm not disputing that increasing co2 emissions in the atmosphere will have an impact. it will have a warming impact. we believe those consequences are manageable. they do require us to begin to exert or spend more policy effort on adaptation. what do you want to do if -- if we think the future has sea level rising four inches, six
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inches? where are the impacted areas? what you want to do to adapt to that? as human beings, as a species, that is why we are all still here. we have spent our entire existence adapting. we will adapt to this. changes to weather patterns that move crop production areas around, we will adapt to that. it is an engineering problem. it has engineering solutions. amy: carroll muffett, your response? >> it is implement of industries response for decades. delay, deny, deny him a delay, and ultimately, when the problem becomes intractable, say that we can adapt it will be someone else's responsibility. i think the challenge is when you look at what adaptation means for millions of people living in coastal regions, living in river deltas that face unpredictable flooding, that
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face drought, that face starvation, i think that it is -- i think it is emblematic of the company and an individual who sees every problem as an engineering problem rather than as a social problem. in economic problems and a problem of human rights. look atch pica, let's the appointed so far. you have scott pruitt to head epa, one of the major foes of the environmental protection agency. sessions, attorney general. we have not talked as much about president-elect trump's choice to head the department of interior, cathy mcmorris rodgers. can you talk about her and then this overall picture of his planned cabinet that we know so far? nominees are the worst when it comes to understanding climate change and
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perpetuating climate denial is him. here we have cathy mcmorris rodgers who has a lifetime record with the leak of consul loaders of 4%. she has voted or led to fight president obama's clean power plan. she has wanted to auction off public lands to the highest that are for the extraction of oil and gas. bundy, supported clive the group that took over oregon in an armed revolt, on of 15 members of congress that exley supported the takeover of the oregon park. so mcmorris rodgers, she has aligned some -- with some of the most radical anti-environmental, anti-comment movements here in the united states. she is now -- she has been nominated to now run the department of interior, which is responsible for managing 500
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million acres of u.s. public land. friends of the earth and 350, many of us have said we have to keep fossil fuels in the ground -- which means the federal government cannot lease anymore oil, coal, natural gas. now we have interior department official who not only doesn't believe in climate change, but wants to sell off those public the highest bidder or the lowest bidder, she doesn't care, she just wants to sell them off, for the express purpose of extracting is fast as possible. this is a trend we're seeing with scott pruitt. the former attorney general, current attorney general of oklahoma, who has opposed each of the major roles the president obama has tried to put in place to regulate climate change, provide for safer water and public health. now he is one to be the head of the environmental protection agency if he is not opposed. you look at sessions for the u.s. attorney general. he has actually tried to squash the investigation that has been
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spurred into exxonmobil's, you know, how they've treated corporate shareholders and whether or not they lied to them. we can see sessions gutting not only the environmental crimes division at the department of justice, but also the civil rights division. and what he is a series of appointees that will do the bidding of the fossil fuel industry to suppress the right to vote, to suppress people's speech, and to then give these fossil fuel polluters a free ride when it comes to their responsibility to both pay for climate damages as well as to cut their own production of fossil fuels. amy: the league of conservation voters gave cathy mcmorris rodgers zero in its most recent rating. in 2015 is speaking out in favor of the keystone xl pipeline. >> we stand here very proud to have just voted for the 11th
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time in the house of representatives to improve the keystone pipeline project. thanted to approve more 40,000 american jobs. we voted for energy innovation, energy independence, we voted to say yes to american energy. amy: that is republican congresswoman cathy mcmorris rodgers of washington state. bill mckibben, your response? >> look, erich is right. the pieces that the fossil fuel industry is now going to be dominant in washington unless we can stop these people from being confirmed. and even if we can, they will find some others of the same vein. we need to say over and over and over again is the era of any pretenses over. these guys now owned lock stock and barrel the policies that
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ey're putting forward. as the planet goes south, everyone will start to realize exactly who and why it is happening. in that sense, and in that sense only, there's something useful about all of this. the of any pretense that we're working hard to deal with climate change and help the oil industry, now we're doing one thing, federal policy is going fossil fuelout the industry and the results of that will be squarely on the people who are doing this. we will do everything that we can to slow them down from that process, but we will also continue day after day to point out what it is precisely that is going on because they are breaking the planet. and as it breaks, we're going to have to react in a truly powerful way going forward.
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amy: we're going to go to break and come back to this discussion. bill mckibben is speaking to us from his home in vermont. carroll muffett is president and ceo of the center for international environmental law personally subpoenaed by exxon , in a case in texas seeking to stop an investigation into exxon's activities led by the massachusetts attorney general. president,ica will be leaving us, friends of the earth, usa, and we will be joined by joe romm . back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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as we continue our conversation about exxonmobil ceo rex tillerson who donald trump is expected to nominate for secretary of state. speaking on "face the nation sunday" senator john mccain said tillerson should be given a fair hearing but reiterated his concerns about tillerson's ties to vladimir putin. >> ties are strictly commercial and got to do with his business in oil, fine. but we will give him a fair hearing. is it a matter of concern? certainly, should be a matter of concern. i am sure in a bipartisan way he will get a fair hearing. it is a matter of concern to me he is such a close personal relationship with vladimir putin . obviously, they have done enormous deals together. that that would color his approach to vladimir putin and the russian threat. amy: one of the enormous guilt of liner putin and rex tillerson worked on was the $500 billion oil exploration partnership for
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an exxon and the russian government's oil company ross neff. the obama administration blocked the deal and it imposed sanctions against russia for its intervention in ukraine. in a recent column for think progress, joe romm, founding editor of climate progress, writes -- "this took it upon -- explain what could and could have interfered in favor of a trump victory. he 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 five times the amount of land it leases in this country. happy days are here again, for exxon." well, for more we are joined by joe romm. is an washington, d.c.
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for people who have no idea what this is about, this ross neff deal in the sanctions and what it would mean if there lif ted, laid out for us. what's it is the state oil company for russia and under vladimir putin, it is been acquiring more and more power and control over the oil industry. it is now, i believe, the world's largest oil entity in the world, exxonmobil is the world's largest privately held oil company in the world, and we're entering a period where it is harder and harder to find oil. as i write, exxonmobil's prospects for finding -- easy to find oil in this market, you know, we are pretty dim until this deal was struck between tillerson and putin, basically. this deal would have created a $500 billion joint effort.
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the biggest oil deal ever. five hundred billion dollars. we're talking have a trillion dollars, a staggering amount of money. it was a deal that was perhaps going to ensure the future of a stream of oil for exxon for decades to come, even as the world needs to get off of oil. for putin, this is critical revenue. critical outside investment. particularly now in this era of low oil prices, that seriously hurts putin. this was considered to be a game changer. rachel maddow said this was a deal that was considered it might change the historical trajectory of russia. crimea an invaded withview -- and interfered
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others. sanctions put in place killed this deal. as i write in the piece, the question -- the intelligence community now says that russia interfered in the election on behalf of of putin. , throughugh leaks hacking, private female accounts, and releasing them, drip, drip, drip, and also we have reason to believe there one of the major promoters, disseminators of fake news. one can understand the motivation. some people said, putin has enough motivation just to cast doubt on the u.s. election. but $500 billion is a very big motivation to mess up the u.s. elections. amy: explain what could happen
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if tillerson did become secretary of state. >> it tillerson become secretary of state -- and i also want to say, the man has no qualifications to be secretary of date. exxonmobil's for entire life. i know with enter this realm are we just elected donald trump president who is unqualified and he is been named -- naming a series of people unqualified for their job, but it just needs to be said. tillerson has no qualification for his job. the deal that was negotiating with putin two years ago want him the highest order that russia gives to a foreign citizen. he and putin are very, very close. he is ourry of state, lead negotiator. he is the president's top representative to every foreign government in the world. here's the signal it sends to the rest of the world -- all that matters to the united date
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is oil and a frilly relationship with putin. now, this is a totally am a totally compromised secretary of state. it is absurd. any sane, rational world, you know, this would just be round the clock -- amy: how could tillerson set-aside, for example, lifting sanctions? >> let's look from two different -- the u.s. sanctions, which the obama camp ready much of which president trump can pretty much lived most of himself, but then there are the other countries that have sanctions. in order to make an economic deal between exxon and rosneft russia work, you're going any not just allowing u.s. investment in the country, you're going to have to allow russia to make deals and sell oil with every other country.
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as secretary of state, he can simply make it his top priority to of the united states in every deal to benefit the oil industry, to benefit the u.s. will industry, to benefit rosneft, to benefit putin. basically, it would be turning the u.s. state department and the u.s. executive branch into what russia is, a cryptography run by putin and his gang to and enrichey themselves. amy: what about his own wealth? he is the current ceo of exxon. if he retires and becomes secretary of state, still, his money is tied up in exxon and for withens to exxon the state department and other government agencies from how they relate to exxon. >> yes.
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he would visibly divest. he presumably would have to sell off his 100 plus million dollars worth of shares of exxon mobil because of the way the law is could do that tax free. it is important to say someone who has worked his life, all of his life at exxonmobil albeit to the top of the company, is hardly going to be able to separate his interest in the interest of all of his close personal friends and family simply by divesting himself from the stocks. he is exxonmobil. you should see that on his four head whenever you look at them. amy: carroll muffett, you are seeing one agency head after another, one cabinet member named after another, related to exxon, in fact. >> yes. if you look at jeff sessions computer fiend -- amy: the attorney general nominee. >> if you look at scott pruitt, the nominee for epa, he intervened in the investigation
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of exxon by other states attorneys general. then you add rex tillerson. and on climate change, what we're looking at is government of exxon by exxon and for exxon. but it is really important to recognize this is emblematic of a broader trend we are seeing in trump's nomination. where in one agency after another, he is put people in charge of agencies that are patently hostile to both the agency itself and to the people and places, though -- the agencies are designed to protect. the epa is looking to move us 100 years backward in time and undo 100 years of environmental and social progress. amy: and finally, bill mckibben, one of his transition team representatives said today on one of the talk shows that this is a man he was very a conflict and business, will be reviewing the budget of the state department, who should be there and who should not. we hear about the department of energy.
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donald trump just said he would be deciding very soon after becoming president what to do about the dakota access pipeline -- which the obama administration has said no to granting the final permit to -- in the keystone xl, which are group 350.org and so many others fight so hard until president obama said no to the keystone xl. finally, what does this mean and how is 350.org organizing? >> 2016 is the hottest year in human history. make 2017g to have to as politically hot as it is humanly possible to do. their have been keeping powder dry, waiting to come out and engage in peaceful protest. well, this is the moment. everything is at risk, both in terms of our democracy and our planet. 350, just asize at
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people will organize all over the country, and we will do it not with complete confidence, but do it because we have to do it and we will see what happens. this is one of those hinge moments in human history, and planetary history, too. i'm not sure there has never amy.one quite like it, amy: i want to end wita clip om fox nshisund, dona trump interviewed by chris wallace on the pipeline. >> let me ask you a couple of specific questions. will you still pull out of the paris climate agreement, which is been signed by more than 100 countries to reduce carbon emissions? will you restart the dakota access pipeline, which the army just stopped? mr. trump: let me not answer the dakota because perhaps that will be solved by the time i get there. but i will tell you, when i get
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to office, if it is not solved, i will have it sold very quickly. >> meaning you'll started. mr. trump: i'm not saying anything. it will be quick. i think it is unfair. it will start one way or the other and you will have a decision pretty quickly. also, the keystone pipeline. you will have a decision fairly quickly. you will see that. harris i am studying. i do say this, i do not want that agreement to put us at a competitive disadvantage with other countries. as you know, there are different times and different time limits on that agreement. i do not want that to give china or other countries signing agreements an advantage over us. any code that was donald trump yesterday on "fox news." we will wrap up there. in our next segment, we will look back at the investigation by the "los angeles times" and insight, news and the how exxonmobil covered up its own knowledge of human induced climate change. i want to thank joe romm,
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carroll muffett, and bill mckibben. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. with president-elect donald trump expected to name just nominate rex tillerson, i want to turn to an investigative series by the pulitzer prize-winning news organization insideclimate.org which found that exxon knew that climate but hid it from the public. found the trail of documents that go back to 19 avenue seven. exxon knew carbon dioxide was increasing in the atmosphere. , that combustion of fossil fuels driving it. and that this posed a threat to exxon. at that time, exxon understood very quickly that governments probably take action to reduce fossil fuel consumption. they are smart people, great
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scientists, and they saw the writing on the wall. >> one exxon research project outfitted an oil tanker with equipment to measure co2 levels in the atmosphere and the ocean. >> we were collecting data, the southern atlantic, the gulf of mexico and the western indian ocean. basically every hour, we would get several measurements. so we had -- i called it a data monster. >> today exxon says the study had nothing to do with co2 emissions. but scientists involved remember it differently. >> we were committed. we were doing some serious science. it was a significant budget, i would say on the scale of a million dollars a year. i mean, that was a lot of money in 1979. amy: that was ed garvey. from 1978 to 1983, he was a researcher at exxon, where he helped start the company's greenhouse gas research program. plaster nermeen shaikh and i interviewed him along with sheila banerjee. -- neela banerjee,
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>> we started looking into early climate change research and became aware that oil companies -- at least initially, it was bp, but that was later, in the 1990's -- had their own scientists who were looking into this. we then found out from american scientists, government scientists, who had been involved in climate research in the that exxon was involved. 1980's and what ended up happening was that i got a transcript of a 1979 congressional hearing on climate change and tried to see if somebody from exxon was there, and i found a gentleman named henry shaw. henry was ed's boss and was the primary researcher with that tanker project. and through him and, you know, papers that he worked on, we found other names, we found documents in archives. and slowly we amassed this picture of a company that was clearly aware of the science, of the emerging science of carbon
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dioxide research, and what the scientists were saying, that it was largely driven by fossil fuel emissions. and they were smart enough to know that this could mean some kind of policy response farther down the road. and so to deal with that, they decided to take a constructive role, and that is to do really good science so that they would be taken seriously in any future policy discussion. nermeen: and, ed garvey, can you talk about when you first arrived at exxon and the research that you did there? it's an extraordinary finding. 1977, that's almost 40 years ago that exxon itself was aware of the climate impact of fossil fuel. >> i was hired in 1978 by henry shaw specifically to begin the tanker study. he hired me explicitly -- directly out of school. i was a 22-year-old chemical engineer, but he hired me directly out of school to begin to engineer, if you would, and design a system that could work on an oil tanker to study oceanic levels of co2. the idea was to study what the
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ocean was doing in response to the atmosphere, so we could figure out where co2 from fossil fuels was ending up. amy: and what did you find? >> well, we didn't get that far along in terms of the data analysis. i mean, ultimately, we found -- we estimated the amount of co2 that was coming out of the oceans in the equator. my thesis adviser at the time, taro takahashi, used that data, along with others, other data, to estimate the amount of absorption by the ocean in the poles, amount of degassing in the equatorial area. and together, he was able to estimate the carbon balance, if you would, around the ocean, the atmosphere and the biosphere. nermeen: but why was exxon -- from what you understand, why was exxon interested in doing this research then? >> it was very much a -- they saw it as a leadership role, in many respects. the goal was that if exxon -- given the importance of the problem, exxon wanted to be at the table in terms of the discussion. the best way to be considered viable in terms of your opinion at the table was to be doing real research. and in fact, we linked up with some of the best researchers in
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the world at the time regarding co2 and the global carbon cycle. amy: you were working with columbia university? >> that's right, as well -- amy: when -- yes, go ahead. >> as well as the scripps institution of oceanography. amy: when did you start to feel a change in attitude at exxon about the work you were doing? >> for me, it came very suddenly toward the end of my career there. it was gung ho for 3.5 years and , then the bottom fell out of the oil market, and it really changed. they just basically dropped the project. we had collected a lot of data, but hadn't processed it to the point of understanding the information. we just had a lot of information. columbia went on to process the data after my work there. amy: neela banerjee, can you talk about this turnaround, when exxon stopped the study, what they started to understand, and how they tried to cover it up? >> well, when ed's project was dropped, from the documents we have and, you know, talking to ed, too, it was mainly because of financial reasons. exxon did not stop its climate
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research. after it started the tanker project in 1978, 1979, in 1980 it hired a lot of mathematicians to do climate modeling, because models were primitive and they were relying on other people's models and they wanted to do that in-house. so even though the tanker project, which was relatively expensive, had ended, exxon continued very good, rigorous, peer-reviewed climate research, mainly through climate modeling, from 1980 onward. and our documents go through 1986. and one does not notice the kind of attitude shift that appeared in the 1990's, of stalling action on climate change and so on, in that period. exxon was still committed to doing really good science. it was just different from the tanker project. if that was empirical, this was modeling. and then, you know, the first indication that i think all of us -- not just insideclimate news, but the world -- have of
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exxon's attitude on climate change shifting was in 1989 when a group called the global climate coalition was formed. and that was a group of fossil fuel companies, major manufacturers, americans largely, that wanted to stall action on climate change. they saw that the u.n. was meeting and thinking about a policy response that countries should adopt to cut emissions of carbon dioxide. so what happened in that 1986 to period, we don't know. 1989 you know, we can't document a shift in thinking. there's some speculation about the attitudes of the people who were in leadership then. they were different than the people who were in leadership in the 1970's. but what we have is not an example of a cover-up -- it's quite the opposite. what we have is an example of a company that used its resources as one of the biggest energy companies in the world to do really good research.
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nermeen: neela banerjee, could you say a little more about this global climate coalition and what exxon's role within it came to be and how it's impacted the kind of research that's done on climate change? >> well, the global climate coalition, i mean, it sounds very green. i remember thinking, "oh, this must be a group of companies that actually support action on climate change." but it was led mainly by the auto -- i mean, i'm sorry, by the oil and gas industry, but some of the other members were coal companies, auto companies and so on. exxon was probably the leader in the oil industry, working with the american petroleum institute, which is the main oil industry lobby. and they didn't take the approach that a lot of people who denied climate change did. and in fact, there's in public circulation, long before we did this project, a primer that a scientist had written for members about how to talk about climate change.
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what he recommended was not to use the arguments that other climate deniers use, such as, you know, that it's sunspots or natural cycles, but instead to focus on the uncertainty of the science and the models, just to hammer away at that. and indeed, people who met exxon -- dylan amy: neela banerjee of insight, news, ed garvey, speaking on democracy now! last year. you can go to democracynow.org for the full interview. to ainvestigation led number of attorneys general announcing in a stork effort to investigate exxon and other oil companies for misleading the public about climate change. that does it for our broadcast. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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