Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Major change in Mexico

Privatization might not seem a big deal in other countries, but in Mexico and concerning petroleum, it is.

Mexico moves to open oil resources to foreigners
Mexico's Senate has approved a measure to open the state-run oil fields to foreign investment for the first time in 75 years.

The measure would let private firms explore and extract oil and gas with state-run firm Pemex, and take a share of the profits.

It now moves to the lower house to be voted on, where it is expected to pass.

President Enrique Pena Nieto wrote on Twitter that it was "a significant decision for Mexico".

Mr Pena Nieto said it was necessary to modernise Mexico's energy sector and increase oil production, which has dropped from 3.4 million barrels per day in 2004 to the current rate of 2.5 million barrels per day.

However, the left-wing Democratic Revolution Party said it was a submission to US oil companies, and protesters set up camp outside the Senate…

They say the move strikes at the heart of Mexico's identity.

Lower House in Mexico approves oil reform measure
The lower chamber of Mexico's Congress followed the lead of the Senate... by approving an energy reform bill that would open the country's nationalized oil and gas industry to foreign investment.

The bill… passed on a 354-134 vote, clearing the two-thirds vote hurdle necessary for passage…

As a change to the Mexican constitution, the proposal also must be approved by a majority of state legislatures. They are expected to do so, though opposition to the measure in some quarters remains fierce…

Mexico: Energy reform clears final hurdle of state approval
Mexico’s sweeping energy reform cleared its final legal hurdle Monday when San Luis Potosi became the 17th state legislature to give rapid-fire approval to constitutional changes that will allow foreign investment into what has been a 75-year-old state monopoly...

Because measures in the bill require changing the constitution, a majority of states also had to give their OK. That happened over the weekend and early Monday, when 17 of 31 states voted in favor of the bill, even as leftist demonstrators protested and surrounded some state legislatures in hopes of discouraging approval.

But passage was never really in doubt because most state governments are controlled by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) of President Enrique Peña Nieto, for whom overhauling state oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) has been a major goal of his year-old administration. Along with the PRI, the conservative National Action Party also lent crucial support...

See also: Mexico moves to open oil resources to foreigners

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