I grew up in the 1950’s in a little town in north Texas called Gainesville. The main things the town produced were oil, cattle and grain crops. My father was an independent oil producer, primarily from wells on land leased from local farmers. My father found and leased the land from which most of his production was obtained. His drilling crews were proficient in their jobs; but, there was never sufficient money to wildcat. My father died of cancer in the late 1960’s. His leases were eventually sold off to the highest bidder.
Rex Wayne Tillerson was born in Wichita Falls, Texas in 1952. He obtained a degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas. He joined the Exxon Company as a production engineer in 1975. He has worked in the corporate department of Exxon ever since. There is no historical indication that he ever actually worked on an oil rig or in a production facility. He is scheduled for retirement at the end of 2016.
Mr. Tillerson has no prior political experience other than supporting the right wing of the Republican party. If the president-elect does not maintain control of the process, the administration will be swept away in a mad rush of hungry political operatives, all seeking a cushy job; regardless of outcome.
Mr. Tillerson has close ties with President Vladimir Putin of Russia. They have been associates since Tillerson represented Exxon’s interests in Russia during President Boris Yeltson’s premiership. Another Tillerson friend is Igor Sechin, the leader of the Kremlin’s security/military operations faction. Tillerson has also received the Russian Order of Freedom. Talk about coals to Newcastle! Senator John McCain would not have been pleased. Last February, Mr. Tillerson told a group of students at the University of Texas that he (Tillerson) has a “very close relationship with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.
In 2012, Tillerson’s compensation package was worth $40.5 million. It was $28.1 million in 2013, $33.1 million in 2014, and $27.2 million in 2015. Tillerson also holds $245 million in Exxon stock. There are news reports that he will have to dispose of his stock, should he be appointed as secretary of state.
On the plus side, Mr. Tillerson has long supported the Boy Scouts of America. He played a significant role in the Scout’s 2013 decision “to rescind the long-standing ban on openly gay youth as members. That decision was welcomed by the LGBTQ community.
Life in America meanders on without a conclusion or even much progress.
This blog will follow the proceedings until they conclude.
Robert H. Lynn
January 12, 2017.