The debate that the Senate organized so as to not decide anything in April is about to end. As such, at least three months have been lost. The politically correct will say that it wasn't time lost, because it was important to learn the opinion of the experts and those affected. False. Their opinions we already knew. Those who didn't want a reform still don't want one, and those who did still wait. As far as I can tell, there was no contribution to this process. Nothing was said that wasn't known in April.It'll be interesting to see the progression of public opinion when the debate formally concludes, but the last I remember seeing, which I think was mid-June in Excelsior, showed that the longer the debate had carried on, the less supportive the public was of oil reform.
In these three months the daily production at Cantarell [Mexico's one mammoth field] has dropped by 200,000 barrels, the gas imports have totaled close to $5 billion, and the total imports of different fuels more than $7 billion. With or without the debate, this would have happened, but we're three months further from resolving the problem. At least three months, because it still remains to be seen if we are capable of deciding. Said another way, we will wait another three months in resolving our problem of lower oil production of crude and higher fuel imports.
That's how the debate cost us $7 billion (lower production, more imported gas), which is some 75 billion pesos. And in return we don't have any new knowledge contributed in the process. And according to declarations, we also don't have any greater sense of political will. We threw away 75 billion pesos. About 700 pesos per Mexican.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Macario Schettino with farewell shot to the oil reform debate: