Saudi Arabia threatens to stop using dollars for oil to block 'NOPEC'

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Saudi Arabia said they will start selling oil in currencies other than the U.S. dollar if Capitol Hill passes a bill making OPEC members vulnerable to anti-trust lawsuits, reports Reuters.

What it means: This threat shows the seriousness that Saudi Arabia is taking the pending legislation most of Washington considers very unlikely to happen. That seriousness should make everyone else consider it more of a live debate too.

What they're saying: Bob McNally, former energy adviser for George. W. Bush who now leads his own energy consulting firm, says the Saudis' threat is real.

  • "Saudi Arabia is not the only producer actively considering abandoning the dollar denomination of oil exports."
  • McNally added that passage of this bill "would kick off economic war at the nuclear level with major oil exporters. The result would be devastation all around and no winners except perhaps China and Russia longer term. The best option is not to play."

Go deeper: Trump administration divided over OPEC oil policy

Additional Stories

California's governor warns Big Tech could be "steamrolled"

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

California Gov. Gavin Newsom warned in an interview for "Axios on HBO" that his state’s Big Tech giants — Google, Facebook and others — will soon get "steamrolled" by federal regulations, and deserve to be hit with new restrictions on their wealth and reach.  

Why it matters: Newsom is friends with several tech moguls, including Tesla's Elon Musk and Google co-founder Sergey Brin. And his state relies heavily on the big profits of Big Tech to fund California. Big changes will hit them at the state and federal level, he said.

Column / Harder Line

2020 Democrats fight for progressive cred on climate change

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

This week’s Democratic presidential debates are poised to showcase just how far left the party has moved in the last several years — especially on energy and climate change.

Why it matters: The Democrats’ eventual nominee is likely to be the most progressive in decades. Proposed policies could cripple oil and natural gas, direct trillions of dollars to renewable energy and reassert U.S. leadership abroad on climate change. It’s an open question whether most Americans would support them.

California governor: "Xenophobic" GOP will be 3rd party

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) told "Axios on HBO" that it’s highly likely Republicans will wind up as a third party nationally in 10 to 15 years because of their "xenophobia" and "hyper-masculinity."

Why it matters: Newsom runs America’s largest state, one in which non-whites are the majority. California has sued the Trump administration a record 50 times, making Newsom the de facto leader of the Democratic resistance.

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