Toward A Cleaner And Leaner Energy Future For North America

5/16/2016 Forbes

By E. Anthony Wayne

4607817256_ee0666b06a_mEnergy and Environment will be key topics when the leaders of North America gather for a Summit in Canada on June 29.  Because of a closer orientation among the three governments, the leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States have a real opportunity to think about cooperation across our continent in a new way.  President Obama, Prime Minister Trudeau and President Peña Nieto can enunciate a shared strategic vision of energy security and environmental protection.  That vision, already presaged when Trudeau visited Washington in March, can better align the United States, Canada and Mexico on energy and environment approaches to support prosperity and well-being in North America.  If done well, such cooperation can also become a model for collaboration in other regions, as well as contribute to a more resilient global energy supply.

Mexico, one of the United States’ top energy suppliers and clients, is in the midst of a major reform of its entire energy sector (oil, electricity, gas, transmission, production, sales, etc.), which among other things opens the sector to serious participation by private companies for the first time since the 1930s.  Canada, the largest U.S. energy supplier and most integrated U.S. energy partner, has set a goal forging “an ambitious North American clean energy and environmental agreement,” under new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.  The United States has developed new technologies revolutionizing U.S. oil and gas production and has committed to a vigorous set of measures to protect the environment and to support innovation of greener technology.  The current period of low prices for both oil and gas has meant huge challenges but also significant incentives to improve efficiencies in all three countries, and the industry is responding by becoming leaner and more competitive.

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Mexico: political risk on the rise

5/16/2016 Financial Times

9085212846_3cb274caea_bSweeping, radical, audacious. Those are all good descriptions of the structural reforms enacted by the Mexican government over the past three years. Failure, unfortunately, is another.

Economic growth, rather than accelerating back to 4 per cent and more annually, has stumbled along at barely over 2 per cent. The stock market has flatlined, while the peso has steadily lost ground, and not only against the dollar.

All this has turned international investors from enthusiastic backers of President Enrique Peña Nieto and his programme of energy, telecom, media and fiscal reforms into critics who are dumping their Mexican assets.

Yet fund managers are not nearly as negative as the president’s own compatriots.

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Is Mexico the next Silicon Valley? Tech boom takes root in Guadalajara.

5/14/2016 The Washington Post

562970017_a55a4f82e9_mWearing shaggy beards, wire-rimmed glasses and T-shirts with silk-screened start-up logos, they look like your average 20-something coders. The young men huddle in the midday sun, smoking cigarettes, sipping coffee out of paper cups, scrolling through iPhones.

Behind them sits a bustling co-working space with 850 tech workers and dozens of startups building apps, tweaking online experiences, pumping out design. The vibe feels much like Silicon Valley. But they’re nowhere near Northern California. They’re hundreds of miles south, in Guadalajara, Mexico’s “Digital Creative City,” the capital of the state of Jalisco, where government subsidies and affordable talent attract foreign tech giants.

Many places claim to be the next Silicon something. New York as Silicon Alley, Los Angeles as Silicon Beach. None faces the same south-of-the-border scrutiny. Yet, there is a burgeoning scene in these agave-lined hills.

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‘An open wound’: Mexico’s missing women and girls

5/15/2016 CNN
6142323949_5d5f048f77_mSpanish photographer Nuria Lopez Torres met 7-year-old Tadeo at a Mother’s Day demonstration in Mexico City.
The boy was running around with flyers, asking anyone who would listen whether they knew about his mother. She disappeared in 2012 from a job interview.
Tadeo misses her. He told Lopez that the people who took his mother should give her back because he needs her more than they do.
“If they can give me an address, I’ll pick her up,” Lopez recalled the boy saying.
Like so many families, Tadeo’s family is in limbo.

Don’t call it mezcal: Mexico forces artisanal producers to use a new name

5/10/2016 The Guardian

9386766538_b04baaa54b_mMiguel Ángel Partida pours an early morning slug of mezcal into a hollowed-out bull’s horn, and watches bubbles form around the rim. From the way they rise, he estimates his homemade liquor has 50% alcohol.

“If it doesn’t do this, it’s not mezcal. It’s another alcoholic beverage,” he says at his home in Mexico’s western Jalisco state.

Partida and his family have made mezcal for five generations, enduring the Mexican revolution, the Cristero rebellion and various attempts by governments – and the tequila industry – to rein in renegade mezcaleros. They even survived losing the legal right to use the name “mezcal” and are obliged to sell theirs as “agavate distillates”.

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Not in Our Backyard: Developers Hit Wall in Ritzy Mexico City Neighborhood

5/10/2016 Wall Street Journal

6142323949_5d5f048f77_mMEXICO CITY—Developers in one of the Mexican capital’s most affluent neighborhoods are facing stiff opposition to new commercial projects from residents who fear they will further strain the city’s outmoded infrastructure.

The neighborhood, Lomas de Chapultepec, is in the center of a debate over the merits and perils of densification.

In car-choked Mexico City, public transportation is spotty and outdated, while pollution prompted authorities last month to ban at least 20% of all cars from the roads every weekday in an effort to reduce unhealthy levels of smog. Other essential resources, like water, are strained as well.

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Walker to lead business development mission to Mexico in June

5/10/2016 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
17151169391_26566d58c2_mGov. Scott Walker is planning to lead a Wisconsin business development mission to Mexico next month.

The trade mission, scheduled for June 12-17 with a first stop in Mexico City, is expected to be announced by Walker in Milwaukee Tuesday at the 52nd Annual International Trade Conference of the Metropolitan Association of Commerce World Trade Association at the Wisconsin Center.

“We will promote Wisconsin’s strong business climate, outstanding workforce and key industry sectors as compelling assets for successful business operations in Wisconsin during our trip to Mexico, just as we did during our trips to Europe, Canada, and the United Kingdom last year,” Walker said in a statement. “The state of our state is strong, and this is the perfect time for businesses in Mexico to consider investing in Wisconsin.”

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