Good morning, lots of news to share so let's get to it. Today's Smart Brevity: 1,128 words, ~ 4 minutes.
My latest Harder Line column analyzes IRS filings to show how environmental group fundraising surged after President Trump's election. I'll share that, and then Ben Geman will get you up to speed on other news.
Situational awareness: Saudi Arabia's newly minted energy minister signaled Monday that "OPEC and its allies will continue with production cuts as the group prepared to gather in Abu Dhabi," Bloomberg reports. We've got more on the Saudi leadership shakeup below.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Nearly all major environmental groups saw their donations increase, some significantly so, with President Trump in the White House, according to an Axios analysis of tax filings.
The big picture: This is classic Washington. When one side is in power, interest groups on the other side often see more financial support. That's why environmental groups are on the rise during one of the most aggressive regulatory rollbacks in American history.
Driving the news: Between 2015 and 2017, donations to 10 of America’s most influential environmental groups increased between 20% and 149%.
By the numbers:
What they’re saying: “Americans see the damage the Trump administration is doing to our environment and know that we are nearing a point of no return on climate,” says Sam Sankar, SVP of programs at Earthjustice.
What we’re watching: If this trend will accelerate or flatline if Trump wins re-election in 2020. If a Democrat wins, we’ll be watching to see if donations drop off as the threat to environmental policies lessens.
Go deeper: Read the full column here.
Saudi Arabia shook up its oil hierarchy Saturday by ousting Khalid al-Falih as oil minister and replacing him with Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.
Why it matters: The kingdom is grappling with the U.S. production boom, sluggish global demand growth, and trade friction that's holding down oil prices.
The big picture: Abdulaziz is the son of King Salman and the half-brother of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).
Between the lines: Analyst Robin Mills tells the Wall Street Journal that the move is part of MBS "trying to stamp his control."
The intrigue: Saudi expert Ellen Wald tells Axios the move comes with some risk despite Abdulaziz's petroleum background.
What's next: Several analysts, in published reports, said they don't see major near-term shifts in the Saudis' posture.
One big challenge facing Saudi Arabia is that crude prices are well below the roughly $80–$85 per barrel the country needs to balance its budget.
The chart above shows the U.S. Energy Information Administration's estimate of the kingdom's crude revenues alongside the wider OPEC tally.
Where it stands: Brent crude is currently trading at nearly $62-per-barrel.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren is moving more aggressively to the left on energy as she battles Sen. Bernie Sanders for backing from progressives in the Democratic 2020 primary.
Driving the news: On Friday afternoon, Warren tweeted that if elected, she would ban fracking "everywhere."
One big question: An obvious but important one is whether Warren's "ban fracking" position would be a political liability if she was in a general election matchup against Trump.
But, but, but: This is hypothetical politics right now. Warren can't ban fracking "everywhere" without Congress, which isn't in the cards. Her campaign acknowledges that banning it would require legislation.
Another big question is what a theoretical ban would mean for greenhouse gas emissions. I'm outsourcing this to Carnegie Mellon University's Costa Samaras. He posted an interesting Twitter thread on Friday night (paaaarty!).
From "life-moves-pretty-fast files": Since our last edition, the Trump vs. California battle over auto emissions and mileage rules has gone to 11.
The big picture: Trump is pulling out all the stops to shut down an effort by California to enlist automakers on a plan that would undermine efforts to freeze Obama-era mandates, Axios' Joann Muller and I report.
Driving the news: 2 big developments were reported Friday.
What they're saying: The letter says Congress has “squarely vested” authority over both mileage and GHG emissions standards with the federal government.
The other side: California Gov. Gavin Newsom, in a statement to news outlets about the reported DOJ probe, said the state is "undeterred."