It isn’t Mexico’s “Manana” disposition that has the the finalizing of an offshore drilling deal with Mexico at a standoff, but in fact, it is the Obama administration behind the stall of accessing Mexico’s abundant natural resources.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed an agreement with the former Mexico President Felipe Calderon last spring authorizing joint oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. The deal uncharacteristically processed quickly through the Mexican Senate however seems to rest on this side of the border, causing accusation from the Republican party for stalling on the threshold of opening the door to the energy sector and foreign investment.
“It’s time for the administration to act. All they have to do is send the enacting legislation over here and let us act on it, because we’re sitting on ‘go, ‘ ” Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) told The Hill after a House Foreign Relations committee hearing on energy partnerships with Canada and Mexico. (APP)
“Maybe under a new administration, a new secretary over there [at the Department of the Interior], they’ll get off their rear-ends and get to work,” he added.
Although Mexico’s current President,Enrique Peña Nieto has publicly stated that the Nationalization of the Energy Sector is high on his list of priorities, there is concern that if there is not swift action on the opportunity, Mexico will create bureaucratic hurdles to opening up its oil industry, which has long been closed to foreign investors but presents huge opportunities for U.S. firms to explore shale gas and offshore oil deposits.
Finalizing the agreement “will be seen as a very positive step forward and will encourage the process of energy reform in Mexico,” said Duncan Wood, the director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and an adviser to the Mexican government on energy reform.(APP)
“Any further delay is risky. It will send exactly the wrong message,” he said. “Those people who are opposed to opening the sector in Mexico would be able to look at this and to say, ‘see, the United States all they want is access to our oil – it’s not about what’s good for Mexico.’ ”