Mexico to step up pedestrian border inspections

07/20/15 San Diego Union-Tribune

— Mexican immigration officials are preparing to ramp up inspections of U.S. citizens and other foreigners entering the country on foot, requiring those crossing from San Ysidro to show travel documents such as a U.S. passport or passport card.  The head of Mexico’s National Migration Institute in Baja California, Rodulfo Figueroa, said that the new push will begin by September with the expected opening of a new building housing Mexican immigration and customs inspections stations at the Tijuana pedestrian entry. Figueroa said that the measures will be enforced gradually, and inspectors will be sensitive to the flow of people entering the country.  “We will do everything we can to make the transition as seamless as possible,” Figueroa said. “People should not be panicking about this. We’re not going to create a four-hour southbound wait.

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2015 United States -Mexico Summit: A View from the Border

On August 6-8 in El Paso/Ciudad Juarez for the United States-Mexico Summit: A View from the Border and International 10K race.

To join the 2015 USMXS, please visit:

www.utep.edu/usmxs

And to learn more about the U.S.-Mexico 10k:

www.international10k.com

Mexico gets billions more dollars from migrants than from oil exports

7/7/15 Global Post

120px-20_Dollars_art3While Donald Trump caused an uproar by calling Mexican migrants criminals and even “rapists,” many here see them as heroes.

Mexicans working in the United States these days are sending lots of money back to Mexico. The dollars provide a lifeline for millions of poor families, often enabling them to buy basic food, medicine or school books.

Just in May, Mexican migrants abroad sent home almost $2.2 billion, a 2.4 percent rise over the same month last year.

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Water Scarcity Could Deter Energy Developers From Crossing Border Into Northern Mexico

Day 3 of our on-going article excerpts. Check out the blog again on Monday for more, or head straight to our website for the remainder of the article.

Water Scarcity Could Deter Energy Developers From Crossing Border Into Northern Mexico

by Keith Schneider

Coahuila Says It’s Ready

Whether the shale gas fields of Coahuila and its neighboring states are included in the offering, though, is not certain. The national government has expressed concern about low gas and oil prices, and about security. Northern Mexico is the base of operations of “Los Zetas,” the most technologically advanced, sophisticated, and dangerous Mexican gang, which has infiltrated the state’s coal sector and terrorized several energy exploration teams.

The Governor of Coahuila, Rubén Moreira Valdéz, among the industry’s biggest boosters, is not intimidated. Moreira is pressing the national government to open bidding for development rights in his state to keep a promising oil industry job boom going. Earlier this year, during a shale development conference in Mexico City, Governor Moreira told attendees that “the economic development of shale oil and gas, and related investments, has generated more than 800 shale gas and shale oil jobs” in Coahuila.

The Duñas de Yeso are unique in Mexico and are often compared to the White Sands national monument in New Mexico. The dunes were formed over thousands of years by sand grains moved by the wind from deposits left on the banks of the Laguna Churince during its periodic ebb and flow. Since surface water on the lake has disappeared completely in the past few years, conservationists fear that this process has now been interrupted, with unpredictable consequences for this natural wonder and its unique bio system.
The Duñas de Yeso are unique in Mexico and are often compared to the White Sands national monument in New Mexico. The dunes were formed over thousands of years by sand grains moved by the wind from deposits left on the banks of the Laguna Churince during its periodic ebb and flow. Since surface water on the lake has disappeared completely in the past few years, conservationists fear that this process has now been interrupted, with unpredictable consequences for this natural wonder and its unique bio system.

 

Executives of Pemex, Mexico’s national oil company, join administrators in Mexico’s Ministry of Energy in projecting much larger returns. Two years ago the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that northern Mexico reserves held 13 billion barrels of shale oil and 600 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, ranking the region as one of most potentially productive shale energy zones on the planet.

Pemex anticipates that the oil and gas producing basins of Coahuila and neighboring Nuevo Leon could attract over $US 100 billion in investment to drill 8,000 to 10,000 oil and gas wells. Coahuila state authorities added that they expected $US 64 billion of that total to be invested in their state, and that 240,000 jobs would result. Earlier this year a report by the University of Texas at San Antonio, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Asociacion de Empresarios Mexicanos, and the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute was similarly enthusiastic. The report asserted that Mexico is in an ideal situation to reap the benefits of unconventional extraction techniques.

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Businesses, Feds Meet on Border Banking; No Resolutions

6/23/15 Arizona Public Media
Us-mexico-border mapFederal bank regulators visited Nogales last week to discuss hurdles to banking on the border.

The meeting came after reports that banks stopped servicing some Arizona border businesses because of the challenge of complying with federal anti-money laundering regulations.

Arizona’s senators helped to arrange the June 16 meeting, which was by invitation only and closed to the press. Participants said the meeting brought together regulators from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Office of the Comptroller of Currency with local bankers, political representatives and business people.

Those in attendance included Sabrina Hallman, president and CEO of Sierra Seed Co., based in Nogales.

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Arizona governor promotes state during economic and business trips to Mexico, France

6/21/15 Fox News Latino

welcome to Arizona sign state lineArizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Saturday was wrapping up a week-long trip to France and Mexico that focused on promoting the state to international business and economic leaders.

The Mexico visit in particular appeared designed to repair relations with the state’s southern neighbor that were damaged by former Gov. Jan Brewer’s positions on immigration.

After Brewer signed a tough 2010 immigration law, Mexican governors cancelled an annual border governors meeting in Phoenix, and while she later visited Mexico several times, the damage was done.

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Water Scarcity Could Deter Energy Developers From Crossing Border Into Northern Mexico

In collaboration with Circle of Blue, the Mexico Institute of the Wilson Center is working to address the future of energy and water scarcity along the US-Mexico border. The major points of contention are outlined by Keith Schneider in a new article titled “Water Scarcity Could Deter Energy Developers from Crossing Border Into Northern Mexico.”

Over the next 8 days we will be posting excerpts from this article, which is published in full on our website. Stay tuned!

Water Scarcity Could Deter Energy Developers From Crossing Border Into Northern Mexico 

by Keith Schneider

Before world oil prices collapsed late last year, shop owners closest to the banks of the Rio Grande River in Piedras Negras joked that they could hear the groans of Texas drilling rigs advancing toward their fast-growing northern Mexico city.

Just seven years ago, the first well was drilled into the Eagle Ford shale formation, which is 80 kilometers wide (50 miles) and stretches northeast for 640 kilometers (400 miles) from the border, past the eastern outskirts of San Antonio. That well yielded such prodigious quantities of gas and oil it set off a frenzy of investment so intense in Texas that 11,000 more wells were completed in the 29-county drilling zone. The Eagle Ford now produces over 1.6 million barrels of oil and 7 billion cubic feet of natural gas daily, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, making it one of the largest oil and gas fields on the planet.

mexico coahuila water
Coahuila is one of the driest regions in the Americas. Most of its available water is supplied from aquifers. Fresh water is so scarce in Coahuila that the Mexico government has already announced that it will not issue new groundwater use permits for oil and gas development. Graphic © Kaye LaFond / Circle of Blue

Until oil prices melted, nothing slowed the development. Not the availability of capital or drilling rigs. Not a deep Texas drought that focused public attention on the 15,000 to 19,000 cubic meters (4 million to 5 million gallons) of fresh water required to drill and hydraulically fracture each well. Not the nearly equal levels of public concern about the billions of gallons of oilfield wastewater and the choices energy development companies were making to pump the toxic liquids into deep disposal wells, some of which University of Texas at Austin researchers linked to heightened earthquake activity.

The big questions asked by northern Mexico state and business leaders are two-fold. First is whether the portions of Eagle Ford shale that reach under the Rio Grande and deep into Coahuila are capable of producing anywhere near the same quantities of fossil energy. Another question is whether difficult ecological conditions, particularly the scant reserves of fresh water in Mexico’s second driest state, are suitable to support intense drilling and development.

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