I was appalled to read April 5 that Rex Tiller, the CEO of Exxon, chairs an Energy Department advisory committee on the subject of drilling for oil in the pristine Arctic wilderness.

You can imagine what his committee’s conclusion was, but no matter, such a committee has all the credibility of the fox guarding the hen house.

Yet more appalling was his justification for Arctic drilling, which does, after all, have some reasonable arguments in its favor. Not once in a lengthy interview with The Associated Press does Tiller mention drilling’s impact on the environment, make assurances that drilling would be safe or consider alternatives to oil. His commentary is entirely about exploiting natural resources for economic purposes.

Even Tiller’s discussion of the disastrous Exxon Valdez oil spill, which spewed 11 million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound, despoiled 1,300 miles of coastline and killed a quarter million sea birds and other living creatures, focuses on the negative impact on his company, rather than on the loss of life, the devastated ecosystem and the ruined livelihoods.

The Energy Department could not have hatched a more vivid argument against Arctic oil exploration than by appointing Tiller to chair the advisory council and allowing him to defend its conclusion. Tiller’s soulless corporate perspective makes him the last person on Earth to whom you would entrust the last unspoiled region of our planet.

Barry Waldman

Cecilia Cove Drive

James Island