Secretary of State Rex Tillerson previously used the email alias “Wayne Tracker” to discuss climate change, New York’s Attorney General is claiming.
According to CNN, Tillerson used the nom de plume when he was CEO of Exxon Mobil. He’s since moved on to the Trump administration, serving as Secretary of State.
The alias has sparked jokes on Twitter, but it’s part of a serious court action (some are comparing it to Anthony Weiner’s “Carlos Danger” handle).
Here’s what you need to know:
1. New York’s AG Revealed the Moniker in a Letter to a Judge
The nickname might be silly, but it’s part of a serious matter.
According to CNN, AG Eric Schneiderman revealed the name “in a letter sent to a New York state judge on Monday that also accused Exxon of failing to produce documents related to an investigation into whether the company misled investors over climate change.”
2. Tillerson’s Middle Name Is Wayne
The name likely derived from Tillerson’s middle name, which is Wayne, according to the Root.
The site was one of those making fun of Tillerson’s purported pseudonym, calling it an “unimaginative faux porn name.”
3. The AG’s Office Claims Tillerson Used the Nickname for Seven Years but Says Exxon Didn’t Disclose it
The Attorney General is claiming that Exxon didn’t tell his office that Tillerson used the account.
According to the Root, the AG’s office letter says in part: “Despite the company’s incidental production of approximately 60 documents bearing the ‘Wayne Tracker’ email address, neither Exxon nor its counsel have ever disclosed that this separate email account was a vehicle for Mr. Tillerson’s relevant communications at Exxon.”
4. Exxon Confirmed to CNN Money That the Email Account Existed
CNN Money, which broke the story, reported that Exxon’s spokesman has admitted Tillerson used the email as CEO.
“The email address, Wayne.Tracker@exxonmobil.com, is part of the company’s email system and was put in place for secure and expedited communications between select senior company officials and the former chairman for a broad range of business-related topics,” the statement said, according to CNN Money.
5. The AG Is Investigating Whether Exxon Misled Investors Over Climate Change
The Independent reports that the AG’s probe centers over whether Exxon misled the public and investors about climate change for years.
Exxon is trying “to derail probes by New York and Massachusetts into whether the company misled investors for years about the possible impact of climate change on its business,” according to The Independent.
Tillerson has had a complicated relationship with the issue of climate change and global warming. On one hand, he’s supported a carbon tax, but has also suggested that environmentalists are overreacting and that risks of burning fossil fuels is manageable. Read more about Tillerson and climate change here: