Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court broke up John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil in 1911, the energy industry has been at loggerheads with the federal government. Now it is the government — or may be if Exxon Mobil Corp. Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson is confirmed as President Donald Trump’s secretary of state.
All across the oil patch, they’re figuratively uncorking the champagne bottles as Tillerson and other well-placed leaders and friends are proposed for top jobs. Rick Perry, former governor of oil-rich Texas, has been picked to run the Energy Department, which he once famously threatened to do away with and whose name he forgot in a 2012 Republican presidential primary debate. Scott Pruitt, a friend to Oklahoma’s homegrown shale industry and confirmed climate-change skeptic, would take over the Environmental Protection Agency. And U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke, a Republican from Montana and former CEO of an oil and gas consulting firm, is poised to become head of the Interior Department.