Aug 21 2014

What Mexico’s Decision to Privatize Its Energy Sector Means for Ordinary People

Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto on Monday signed into a law a set of rules that ends 76 years of a state-monopoly on oil, gas, and electricity industries. The new rules will open up Mexico’s energy sector to private companies, including foreign transnational corporations.

The state-run company, Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, was created in 1938 when the oil industry was first nationalized. But in recent years Pemex has failed to keep up with production. The government sees an opening up of the energy sector as necessary to exploiting deep water and shale gas reserves that need tens of billions of dollars of investment to access.

The financial press in the US has been salivating at the prospect. Bloomberg contends that the rules “couldn’t come at a better time for global energy companies from Exxon Mobil to Royal Dutch Shell.” BP, Chevron, and Total, are also expected to bid on contracts in the coming years. Some commentators speculate that the rules will launch Mexico’s economy toward a long-overdue prosperity.

GUEST: Laura Carlsen, Director of the Mexico City-based Americas Program of the Center for International Policy and a columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus

Click here to watch Laura Carlsen’s program on Telesur English.

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