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May 11, 2003, 0100 PDT (FTW) --Mexico passed its peak of oil production in the 1980s. Its nationalized oil company, Pemex, controls both the oil and natural gas resources of our Southern neighbor. Soon Mexico will not have enough natural gas to meet even its own needs, let alone exporting it to the US. As the Empire's oil reserves shrink and as its natural gas reserves approach empty, with Canadian tar sands development proving to be an economic and ecological disaster, the realities of diminishing hydrocarbon energy supplies are starting to hit home. Once more the Empire's fig leaf is removed as the House International Relations Committee tells Mexico, “If you want better immigration laws, give us control of your fossil fuels.” The Sense of Congress resolution needs to be approved by both houses and is sure to stir up a fight. But, in the context of Peak Oil, it will be perhaps the kindest, gentlest move the Empire makes to obtain control of Mexico's oil.

The argument that it's only fair because the Mexican immigrants, only too welcome by employers seeking cheap labor, will use the energy here don't wash. They will use far less oil and gas here than US investment intends to appropriate through ownership.

The signs of Peak Oil are all around us. And now they are showing up close to home. – MCR

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)


Mexicans Outraged by Immigration/Oil Move

Associated Press

Posted on Sat, May. 10, 2003

- A move in the U.S. Congress to link immigration with opening up Mexico's state oil company to U.S. investment has outraged Mexicans, and newspapers Saturday accused American lawmakers of arrogance and blackmail.

The House International Relations Committee narrowly approved the measure Thursday saying that any accord on immigration issues with Mexico should include an agreement to allow U.S. companies to invest in the state oil company Pemex.

The measure is a nonbinding "sense of Congress" amendment in a broad State Department funding bill, and must still be approved by both houses of Congress.

It went nearly unnoticed in the U.S. news media - but created a storm in Mexico.

The 1938 nationalization of Pemex is celebrated as a symbol of national pride and was written into the constitution.

"Blackmail in the US: Immigration Accord for Pemex," a leading newspaper, El Universal, said in a front-page headline Saturday.

The resolution fed into some Mexicans' suspicions about U.S. motives for invading Iraq, which was deeply unpopular here and was seen by many as an attempt to get Iraqi oil.

A rival daily, El Sol, called it "the Halliburton Amendment," referring to the U.S. energy company headed by Vice President Dick Cheney until August 2000. Halliburton has contracts to put out oil fires in Iraq and help restart its oil industry.

President Vicente Fox was once bombarded with criticism for suggesting that Pemex be privatized.

He has since promised dozens of times to keep the company in state hands, though his administration has tried to draw foreign private investment through a new service contract system drawn to skirt constitutional restrictions.

The amendment, authored by North Carolina Republican Cass Ballenger, said Pemex "is inefficient, plagued by corruption and in need of substantial reform and private investment" so that it can "fuel future economic growth, which can help curb illegal migration to the United States."

Mexican officials have vowed to crack down on corruption and inefficiency in Pemex since arresting the oil union chief in a military-style raid in 1989.

Mexico's federal Justice Department is investigating several current oil union leaders accused of diverting millions of dollars to the losing 2000 presidential campaign of the then-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party.

Economy Secretary Fernando Canales Clariond said Pemex "definitely will not be opened to foreign capital."

Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, widely seen as a possible presidential candidate, also rejected the proposal, saying "the oil belongs to all Mexicans. It's the nation's - not that of the state or the government."

In its lead editorial, El Universal linked the resolution to post-Iraq-war hubris:

"Swelled by their military victory in Iraq, some sectors in (the United States) are trying to carry out a policy of imposing might over right in all areas of their relationship with the rest of the world."

The newspaper Excelsior referred to "the arrogance of Washington's imperial power, set on the crest of the military victory over Iraq."

A spokesman for Republicans on the International Relations Committee, Sam Stratman, noted that immigration in the United States and Pemex in Mexico "are very emotional issues that are very difficult to discuss rationally."

"We certainly understand that the final decision on issues concerning Pemex rests with the Mexican government and the Mexican people," he said. "This resolution is not aimed at promoting ownership of any piece of Pemex by American oil companies."


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