Incoming leader of Mexico set for White House visit

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“The debate in some political sectors in Mexico is very critical of the idea to allow private capital to be invested along the national oil company, Pemex, claiming that the foreigners want to take away our national resources,” said Emilio Lozoya, the foreign-affairs coordinator for Mr. Pena Nieto’s pre-Cabinet transition team.

What remains to be seen is the extent to which positive talk from Mr. Obama will help or hurt Mr. Pena Nieto’s efforts to break through opposition by Mexican leftists to the energy reforms.

Mr. Pena Nieto has tried to focus the energy debate on the potential for job creation in Mexico, along with the nation’s own aspirations for energy independence.

“Due to the current outdated legislation, Mexico is currently importing liquid natural gas from South America and the United States instead of developing our own sources of natural gas and shale gas, which are extremely rich,” said Mr. Lozoya. “In addition, we export raw oil and import huge volumes of gasoline from the rest of the world.”

“What the president-elect is proposing, is not privatizing Pemex by any means, but rather allow the private sector to co-invest in some areas of opportunity that Mexico is not developing due to a lack of technology and capital,” he said, adding that the such reforms were initially proposed in 2008 by the National Action Party of outgoing President Felipe Calderon.

“Now, the PRI, under a reformist president, is proposing a similar opening, while preserving the state’s dominance and ownership in the sector,” Mr. Lozoya said. “Therefore, I see a good possibility of modernizing our legal framework, which will ultimately produce more employment opportunities for the Mexican population.”

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About the Author
Guy Taylor

Guy Taylor

Guy Taylor is the National Security Team Leader at The Washington Times, overseeing the paper’s State Department, Pentagon and intelligence community coverage. He’s also a frequent guest on The McLaughlin Group and C-SPAN.

His series on political, economic and security developments in Mexico won a 2012 Virginia Press Association award.

Prior to rejoining The Times in 2011, his work was ...

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