Tillerson could push for easing Russia sanctions, which would have benefits for Exxon.
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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 ExxonMobil Corp. Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson is confirmed as President Donald Trump's secretary of state. 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.Perry is broadly supportive of building out pipeline infrastructure. During his own short-lived presidential campaign, he promised to green-light TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL pipeline, which is also a priority for both Trump and Tillerson. As secretary of state, Tillerson would have direct authority over approving the project.Pruitt, attorney general of Oklahoma, spent the last few years suing to block EPA rules energy companies oppose. As head of that agency, he'll almost certainly begin working to dismantle them.
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