Mexico to join shale/fracking revolution; will media keep CA out?

by Chris Reed | December 12, 2013 6:15 am

This spring, I did a two-week series for Cal Watchdog on the many nations around the world that are pursuing fracking in oil and gas exploration after witnessing its immense success in North Dakota, Montana, Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Here’s the last entry[1] in the series, which has links to all the nations I wrote about. The point of my series was to show just how many nations understand that “fracking threatens to give the U.S. a huge economic advantage — cheaper energy — and want a piece of the action.” My point? “That sane people making reasoned long-term decisions embrace fracking.”

pemexNow there’s fresh evidence of this from a U.S. neighbor that doesn’t exactly have a history of smart governance. Walter Russell Mead has the details[2]:

“Mexico’s Senate voted [Tuesday] 95 to 28 in favor of an historic energy reform bill last night, setting the stage for a massive turnaround of the country’s oil and gas production. The bill is now headed to the lower house, which is expected[3] to pass it later this week.  The reform, if passed, will be a defining victory for President Enrique Peña Nieto, who has already made a name for himself as a reformer in his first year in office.

“But this is much more than a boost to his legacy; it’s a chance for Mexico to really take advantage of its resource bounty. Mexico has large reserves of conventional onshore and offshore oil and gas, and the world’s sixth and eighth largest shale gas and shale oil reserves, respectively[4]. …

“The reforms will be especially beneficial for Mexican shale exploration. Fracking was so successful in the US because of our relatively simple geology—geology Mexico shares—and our deep pool of firms willing to compete with one another to develop the technology and take the risks on unproven techniques and reserves—something Mexico lacks. But that could change if this bill goes through. These changes could help the country realize the Pemex CEO’s dream[5] of becoming the world’s ‘new Middle East.'”

Will CA join the ‘phenomenon’ or not?

Mead concludes that …

“Mexico is poised to join the US and Canada as new major players in the global oil and gas market, and if these reforms are successful, it will make the shale boom a truly North American phenomenon.”

But will California join in this “North American phenomenon” or not? Maybe not, given the dishonest media coverage of fracking.

From last month, here’s the latest L.A. Times editorial[6] on fracking to not even mention that the Obama administration has repeatedly signed off on fracking’s safety, seeing it as just another heavy industry that can be made safe with proper regulation.

The latest Sac Bee editorial on fracking, which came in September, is not available for free online, but it too never even mentions that the Obama administration has repeatedly signed off on fracking’s safety.

The latest San Francisco Chronicle editorial on fracking[7] also never even mentions that the Obama administration has repeatedly signed off on fracking’s safety. It’s from last month.

Only one editorial from a prominent liberal paper even hinted at the Obama administration’s views of fracking. It was the San Jose Mercury-News piece[8] posted Sept. 15.

“Some environmentalists won’t be happy unless there is a complete ban on fracking or a moratorium until the environmental impact review is complete. But studies by the Environmental Protection Agency have not linked fracking by oil companies to groundwater contamination.”

Both edit page, reporters in on LAT’s anti-fracking agenda

sally.jewellBoy, such context would sure by valuable in all coverage of California and fracking, dontcha think? But so would the comments of U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell at a May press conference, as reported by The New York Times.

“Anticipating criticism from environmental advocates, she said: ‘I know there are those who say fracking is dangerous and should be curtailed, full stop. That ignores the reality that it has been done for decades and has the potential for developing significant domestic resources and strengthening our economy and will be done for decades to come.’”

The Los Angeles Times also covered Jewell’s press conference. It didn’t mention[9] Jewell’s strong support for fracking. Instead, it went to an oil-industry spokesman to make the claim that fracking is safe — not President Obama’s secretary of the interior.

So it’s not just the LAT editorial page with an agenda on fracking. It’s the newsroom, too.

Great, just great.

  1. last entry:
  2. details:
  3. expected:
  4. respectively:
  5. dream:
  6. L.A. Times editorial:
  7. editorial on fracking:
  8. Mercury-News piece:
  9. didn’t mention:

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