White House issues corporate press release literally copied and pasted from ExxonMobil

The marriage between ExxonMobil and the federal government is virtually complete after the White House’s latest press release.

At 3:10 PM Eastern Time, ExxonMobil posted a statement to its corporate website that provides details about the oil giant’s plans to spend $20 billion over ten years in the Gulf Coast region of the Southern United States. This statement was posted roughly two hours after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — the former chair and CEO of ExxonMobil — met with Trump, according to his official schedule.

Then, just thirty minutes after ExxonMobil posted their statement, President Trump posted a statement to the White House website touting the initiative. Trump then tweeted the release from his personal Twitter account approximately 30 minutes after the White House’s official statement was posted:

The two statements are remarkably similar, with one paragraph in the White House statement seemingly copied and pasted from the Exxon release, with only a few words changed. The changes have been highlighted.

This paragraph comes from ExxonMobil’s corporate press release:

ExxonMobil is strategically investing in new refining and chemical-manufacturing projects in the U.S. Gulf Coast region to expand its manufacturing and export capacity. The company’s Growing the Gulf expansion program, consists of 11 major chemical, refining, lubricant and liquefied natural gas projects at proposed new and existing facilities along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. Investments began in 2013 and are expected to continue through at least 2022.

This paragraph comes from the official White House press release congratulating ExxonMobil on the investment:

Exxon Mobil is strategically investing in new refining and chemical-manufacturing projects in the United States Gulf Coast region to expand its manufacturing and export capacity. The company’s Growing the Gulf program consists of 11 major chemical, refining, lubricant and liquefied natural gas projects at proposed new and existing facilities along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. Investments began in 2013 and are expected to continue through at least 2022.

Perhaps the most intriguing part about the near-joint release of the press releases is that they both tout a program that’s almost four years old. As both statements read, the investments in the Gulf Coast region actually started in 2013, during former President Barack Obama’s second term.

To his credit, Tillerson fully divested himself from his ExxonMobil shares prior to being sworn in as Secretary of State. However, the similarity between the two press releases would be a remarkable coincidence if they weren’t coordinated.

 

Tom Cahill is a writer for the Resistance Report based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him via email at [email protected], or follow him on Facebook