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ExxonMobil CEO and Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson said during his Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday that he had “no knowledge” of Exxon’s lobbying efforts against US sanctions on Russia.
But a lobbying disclosure form from 2014, unearthed by Salon writer Simon Maloy, states that Exxon engaged in lobbying “related to Energy Sanctions in the Ukraine and Russia” in 2014, shortly after the US sanctioned Russia for annexing Crimea and its incursion into eastern Ukraine.
Exxon, under Tillerson, lobbied against US sanctions several times between 2006 and 2014, the Wall Street Journal’s Byron Tau wrote on Twitter.
One 2010 disclosure form lists a lobbying effort against the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act, which penalizes companies with investments of $20,000,000 or more in Iran’s energy sector. The company also lobbied against the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010, according to the form.
USA Today reported on Monday that ExxonMobil did business with Iran, Syria and Sudan in 2003, 2004, and 2005 through Infineum, in which ExxonMobil owned a 50% share at the time.
Tillerson was grilled in a Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday about the potential conflicts of interests he faces as a result of his company’s extensive global operations. The company produces oil and gas in 22 countries, and Tillerson owns company shares worth $180 million, according to a report produced by the left-leaning Center for American Progress on Tuesday.
Tillerson has promised to sever ties with Exxon if he is confirmed by the Senate, in exchange for a payout that matches the value of his shares. But he faced questions during the hearing about his personal ties to Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, whom the US intelligence community said last week ordered an “influence campaign” aimed at diminishing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton during the presidential election.
Tillerson, whose relationship with the Kremlin dates back to the early 1990s, has struck several major deals with the Russian state-run corporation Rosneft and received the prestigious Order of Friendship award from Putin in 2013.