A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.

Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013

Energy reform passes both Mexican House and Senate

Update, Dec. 16: San Luis Potosí legislature, in early-morning vote, becomes 17th state to back the reform, which now can become law; required state approval for a consitutional change took place in what was a described as a record 57 hours and 25 minutes after congressional passage 
Update, Dec. 17: Baja California, in surprise session, votes for the reform

      President Enrique Peña Nieto's energy reform bill has been passed by both the Mexican Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. It now must also be passed by a majority of state legislatures. This is expected to happen, as the Institutional Revolutionary Party and the National Action Party, which worked together on the bill, constitute majorities in 25 of 31 legislatures. The 32nd federal entity, the federal district, is dominated by the Democratic Revolution Party.

     The bill was fiercely opposed by the Mexican left, which locked legislators out of the lower chamber Wednesday after the Senate passed the bill Tuesday. The deputies then held debate and voted in an alternate location.

Story on Chamber of Deputies passing bill 354-134, Los Angeles Times: "Lower house in Mexico approves oil reform measure"

Front-page story in Los Angeles Times on Thursday: "Mexican Senate OKs bill to open oil industry to foreign investors: The legislation to overhaul Pemex goes much further than the proposal by President Enrique Peña Nieto's PRI party."

Baja California National Action Party Sen. (and former governor) Ernesto Ruffo voted against the reform, while PAN Sen. Víctor Hermosillo voted for it. Mention in El Mexicano column (PDF).

PRI Deputy Landy Berzunza suffered a detached retina after being attacked over vote; PRD legislator Antonio García Cornejo strips down to underpants in protest. Stories, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump. Column, Sergio Sarmiento: "Diputado Desnudo."

Full-page ad from government (PDF) saying how reform will help Pemex be able to exploit more deep-water reserves.
Full-page ad saying how energy reform will lead to lower natural gas prices (and if easier shale-gas exploration is allowed, that could be highly likely)
Update, Dec. 13: Full-page ad (PDF) saying energy reform will provide more jobs (and if it delivers the promised growth of around 1% a year, it would)
Update, Dec. 14: Jorge Fernández Menéndez writes that oil workers union leaders will lose, but that many Mexicans will gain, from the reform that finally gets rid of a longstanding Mexican taboo. He said the Democratic Revolution Party loses, not because it opposed the reform, but because it was unable to separate itself from radical legislators who give Mexico a bad name.

Update, Dec. 15: Sixteen states states have passed the reform. Yucatán (23-2), Tamaulipas (28-4) and Puebla (31-2) passed it Sunday.
Dec. 16 story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Dec. 15 story, El Mexicano (PDF) on Chiapas, Querétaro, Durango, Veracruz and the state of Mexico passing the reform. Other states passing the reform were: Hidalgo, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Sonora, Coahuila, Jalisco, Nayarit and Quintana Roo.
Morena blocks access to Baja California legislature Sunday, but legislature, in surprise session, votes for reform on Monday: Members of Andrés Manuel López Obrador's Morena grouping blocked access to the Baja California state legislature in Mexicali on Sunday to prevent the body from voting on energy reform. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
But in a surprise session Monday in which the general public was not allowed entry, the legislature backed the reform. Legislature President Cuauhtémoc Cardona said the general public was not allowed in to prevent another situation like the one Morena caused Sunday. It had been expected that the legislature would debate the matter Tuesday. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).

Update, Dec. 16: San Luis Potosí became the 17th state to approve energy reform early Monday, giving the constitutional change a majority of Mexico's 31 states and the federal district. The required state approval took only 57 hours and 25 minutes after congressional passage; this was described as record time for a constitutional change.  Story, El Universal. Story, Excélsior.

Update, Dec. 22: Energy reform becomes law. Los Angeles Times examines how left looked on hopelessly as law passed, and Baja California Gov. Francisco Vega says reform will mean electricity bills will drop — in five years.