Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

President Trump and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool via Getty Images

President Trump took credit again this week for lowering oil prices over the past two months. Oil markets are clearly reacting to his tweets and public comments, which have become a new source of price volatility.

The big picture: Trump’s ongoing campaign against higher oil prices marks a shift from Republican oil policy in the Bush era, which generally relied more on markets to respond to high prices. Despite the presence of oil-friendly cabinet members such as Rick Perry and Ryan Zinke, Trump has aimed to keep prices low.

While Trump has embraced a pro-supply, “drill, baby, drill” approach, several key differences have made him less hospitable to the oil and gas industry than the last Republican administration was:

  • Publicly questioning the U.S. military's long-term commitment to the Persian Gulf: U.S. imports of Gulf oil have dropped dramatically, but the U.S. oil and gas industry still sees the secure flow from the region as critical to global oil-market security and to refineries in Europe and Asia.
  • Activist view on prices: Previous Republican administrations (and arguably Clinton’s and Obama’s as well) generally resisted commenting on what they thought oil prices should be. This reflected a broad consensus that markets were the best way to regulate supply and demand, entailing a laissez-faire approach to OPEC policy and a reluctance to draw on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
  • Frenemy to shale: Trump’s light regulatory touch on drilling and his support for the Dakota Access Pipeline and other oil and gas infrastructure have received a warm welcome from the industry. On the other hand, he has entangled U.S. shale producers in trade disputes, particularly with China.
  • Paris Agreement withdrawal: ExxonMobil’s and Chevron’s decision to join the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative seems to have had no bearing on Trump’s view on the need for global climate change policies.

Yes, but: Previous presidents have certainly acted to curb oil prices, as Bush did in 2007 and 2008 and Obama in 2011. In both cases, however, oil was well above $100 per barrel, and, more importantly, U.S. crude imports were about 50% higher than they are now.

The bottom line: Trump’s energy policy is consumer first. Neither the Saudis nor the markets should assume he is going to support or even tolerate higher prices to help U.S. shale.

Robert Johnston is managing director for global energy and natural resources at Eurasia Group and a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
57 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden starts negotiating to raise capital gains tax rate

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden wants to nearly double the capital gains tax paid by wealthy Americans, as first reported yesterday by Bloomberg and confirmed by Axios.

Counterintuitive: Biden's plan is better for private fund managers (hedge, PE, VC, etc.) than what he proposed during the campaign.

Scoop: Caitlyn Jenner makes it official for California governor

Caitlyn Jenner. Photo: Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Former Olympic decathlete and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner has filed her initial paperwork to run for governor of California and will officially announce her bid later today, her campaign tells Axios.

The big picture: Jenner, a longtime Republican, is seeking to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in a recall election, hoping her celebrity status and name recognition can yield an upset in the nation's most populous state.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
2 hours ago - Sports

New laws, new rules bring big changes to college sports

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The college sports landscape could change more in the next six months than it has in the last 50 years, as the NCAA grapples with new competition, new laws and new rules.

How it works... 1. Startup leagues: Investors are flocking to new leagues that aim to compete with the NCAA, evidence of just how much opposition there is to the amateurism model — and how much belief there is in new ones.