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Government/Politics

Economist Says Mexico Energy Reform Could Bring Texas Billions

A leading economist tells state lawmakers that reforms to Mexico’s oil and gas sector could bring the most dramatic changes the Texas border-region has ever seen, and legislators have been tasked with investigating what if any state laws need to be adjusted to help Texas grow economically.

BBVA Compass Chief Economist NathanialKarp says the country’s legislative reforms which passed in 2013 could provide Texas over 217-thousand new jobs once Mexico begins partnering with Texas hydraulic fracturing companies, and could provide the state budget an additional $3.5-billion dollars in revenues.  But Karp says the most dramatic changes will occur within border communities.

Karp explains, “Faster economic growth at the border will narrow the social-economic disparities between Texas border cities and big metro areas.  If these border towns effectively seize the opportunity, the Texas-Mexico border could see one of the most dramatic transformations in its history."

The legislature is looking at issues ranging from safety and state taxes to addressing overweight trucks and easing truck traffic coming in and out of Mexico.   But something that’s not on their to-do list is how the deployment of the National Guard and an ongoing feud between Texas Governor Rick Perry and Mexican President Enrique Nieto may affect the economic partnership.  

Edinburg Democratic State Rep. Terry Canales sits on the Texas House's Energy Resources Committee and says, “I think we need to get beyond Governor Perry. I think there’s going to be a little bit of a time-lapse before the actual production takes place in Mexico, and I don’t think that he’s the necessary ambassador that we need speaking to the president of Mexico regarding this.”

President Nieto called the governor’s deployment of the National Guard to the border “an attack on good relations and neighborliness."