Tillerson Used Alias Email for Climate Change Communication, Says New York AG

Investigation under way Rex Tillerson arrives at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo in his first trip to the region as US secretary of state

The office of Eric Schneiderman revealed the unorthodox arrangement in a letter sent to a NY 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.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is investigating whether Exxon misled shareholders and the public about climate change, wrote to a judge on Monday accusing Exxon of not previously disclosing the alias and Tillerson's climate-change communications through it.

The state department declined to comment. In addition to climate change, the alias account was also used to discuss other "important matters" that weren't specified in the letter. It involves claims that Exxon Mobil made "false, deceptive, or misleading statements about climate change and the impact it may have on its bottom line", according to a February 5, 2016 letter by the New York Attorney General to supporters.

Company Alan Jeffers added that the account was "mostly used while he [Tillerson] was traveling to ensure he'd see an item in a secure and timely way without having to sort through his regular email inbox, which could contain many items".

"If they had nothing to hide, then why the secret email account?" said Jamie Henn, a spokesman for the environmental group 350.org, which has supported the state probes into Exxon.

Aliases have been employed by top corporate executives for email accounts to throw off hackers, avoid people guessing their digital address or reduce unwanted messages.

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After a four-decade career at the company, Tillerson, 64, left this year to become President Trump's secretary of state.

Use of the email alias was seized upon by environmentalists on Tuesday, who said it revealed a pattern of deception.

"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", Senior Enforcement Counsel John Oleske wrote in the letter. On Monday, it said: "ExxonMobil believes the risk of climate change is clear and warrants action".

Mr Schneiderman said Exxon had failed to give his office all documents covered by a court order in response to the investigation.

The New York attorney general accused Exxon Mobil Corp.

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