Rex Tillerson, the former oil executive under consideration for U.S. secretary of state, is trying to avoid giving testimony in a federal lawsuit over climate change, according to a lawyer for a group of teenagers who filed the suit.
Lawyers for the teenagers, who sued the federal government claiming it violated their constitutional rights by causing global warming, were scheduled to depose Tillerson, the former chief executive of Exxon Mobil, in his capacity as a board member of the American Petroleum Institute, a trade group.
The lawyers planned to ask Tillerson when he first learned of the impact the burning of fossil fuels was having on the Earth's atmosphere.
His answers might then be used to prove the government, working with the energy and manufacturing industries, continued to allow activities harmful to the environment despite knowing the risks to future generations, said Julia Olson, a lawyer in Eugene, Oregon teenagers. , who is executive director of Our Children's Trust and representing the teenagers.