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Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro celebrate his election victory. Photo: Buda Mendes via Getty Images

Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right candidate whose misogyny, racism and reverence for military dictators has made him one of Latin America's most polarizing figures, won Brazil's presidency yesterday with over 55% of the vote.

Why it matters: Brazil is already an important oil producer at roughly 3 million barrels per day, and has been auctioning offshore tracts thought to contain huge hydrocarbon resources to some of the world's largest energy companies.

  • And the Amazon also makes Brazil vital to the world's climate and biodiversity.

What's next: One oil executive told S&P Global Platts recently that "Bolsonaro represents the current, favorable status quo although there could be some hiccups."

  • They note that a policy plan he floated early this month backed "reinforced expectations Bolsonaro would likely continue reform efforts that lured investment from heavyweights such as BP, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total."
  • Yes, but: Their piece and others note the he could install a military general atop state-energy giant Petrobras who would favor a heavier state grip on hydrocarbons.

On the environment, this Washington Post analysis points out that while he's backed away from plans to abandon the Paris climate deal, "that doesn’t mean Bolsonaro has suddenly become the Lorax."

  • "Bolsonaro is a powerful supporter of agribusiness — one of the pillars of his political platform — and is likely to favor profits over preservation."
  • "He has called for a new, pro-business approach to exploiting Brazil’s natural resources, insisting that overzealous bureaucrats have harassed farmers for simply trying to make a living by carving out patches of jungle."

The views of Paulo Guedes, the University of Chicago-trained economist advising Bolsonaro, were examined in a Reuters piece:

  • "Guedes is keen to privatize an array of state enterprises, including units of oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) and power utility Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (Eletrobras)."
  • "However, his free-market ideas have clashed with the views of the retired army generals who are helping Bolsonaro flesh out his government program."

Go deeper

Wall Street braces for more turbulence ahead of Election Day

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Wall Street is digging in for a potentially rocky period as Election Day gets closer.

Why it matters: Investors are facing a "three-headed monster," Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at BMO Capital Markets, tells Axios — a worsening pandemic, an economic stimulus package in limbo, and an imminent election.

Dave Lawler, author of World
4 hours ago - World

How Biden might tackle the Iran deal

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Four more years of President Trump would almost certainly kill the Iran nuclear deal — but the election of Joe Biden wouldn’t necessarily save it.

The big picture: Rescuing the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is near the top of Biden's foreign policy priority list. He says he'd re-enter the deal once Iran returns to compliance, and use it as the basis on which to negotiate a broader and longer-lasting deal with Iran.

Kamala Harris, the new left's insider

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images     

Progressive leaders see Sen. Kamala Harris, if she's elected vice president, as their conduit to a post-Biden Democratic Party where the power will be in younger, more diverse and more liberal hands.

  • Why it matters: The party's rising left sees Harris as the best hope for penetrating Joe Biden's older, largely white inner circle.

If Biden wins, Harris will become the first woman, first Black American and first Indian American to serve as a U.S. vice president — and would instantly be seen as the first in line for the presidency should Biden decide against seeking a second term.