You are on page 1of 7

Neg Mexican THA Cards

Links to politics
The plan prioritizes drilling over protecting investors, improving rig safety, respecting coastal communities, and conducting appropriate environmental review Van Hollen 6-28 (Maryland Democratic Congressman, Democrat, THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF
TRANSBOUNDARY HYDROCARBON AGREEMENTS AUTHORIZATION ACT (HR 1613) AND THE OFFSHORE ENERGY AND JOBS ACT (HR 2231), June 28, 2013) Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Speaker, while I support the responsible development of our nation's resources, this week's legislation prioritizes drilling over protecting investors, improving rig safety, respecting coastal communities and conducting appropriate environmental review . For these reasons, I will be voting no and encouraging my colleagues do the same . The Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act (HR 1613) provides specific authorization for the recently negotiated U.S.-Mexico transboundary agreement and establishes standards for all future offshore oil and gas agreements with potential foreign partners like Canada, Russia, the Bahamas and Bermuda. If [[Page E1006]] HR 1613 were a clean bill, it would be completely non-controversial. Instead, HR 1613 also proposes to waive a provision of the Dodd-Frank Act requiring disclosure of otherwise secret payments made to foreign governments in connection with oil and gas development. Repealing this right-to-know protection is harmful to investors and has no place in this otherwise non-controversial legislation.

Ratification process leads to backlash and presidential involvementpolitically controversial Taylor 13 (Phil Taylor, environment and energy reporter, E&E publishing, E&E: U.S.-Mexico
transboundary agreement mired in Congress,, January 9, 2013) It is unclear who in the Senate objected to the agreements passage, but sources say it was likely out of concern for the process by which it was being passed rather than the substance of the agreement. That may stem in part from lingering uncertainty over whether the agreement is a treaty, which would require a two-thirds majority for Senate ratification, or an executive agreement, which would require implementing legislation to be passed by a majority
in both chambers. Regardless, its failure was a surprise to staff on the ENR Committee who had crafted a news release in preparation for its passage but had to delete it after the agreement was blocked. According to the report by Foreign Relations Republicans, the

Obama administration has yet to say whether the agreement is a treaty or an executive agreement but appears to prefer the latter. Mexicos Senate ratified the agreement, suggesting it was interpreted as a treaty. If it is a treaty, a formal communication would need to be sent from the president to the Foreign Relations Committee, which would
trigger hearings on the matter and allow Congress to interpret any ambiguous language in the agreement. That is important, because

several provisions in the treaty invite scrutiny and clarification, according to the committee report. The treaty doesnt have every detail worked out, said Neil Brown, a former adviser to Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) who was ranking
member of the committee until his retirement earlier this month. For example, one section of the agreement calls for common standards, but it

is unclear whether that requires companies to adopt U.S. safety and environmental standards or Mexicos, which are considered less developed. Another area of the agreement creates a dispute resolution process without saying whether the arbitration is binding, the report said. The agreement would allow joint inspections by Interiors BSEE and the Mexican government to ensure compliance with applicable laws. Some on the Foreign Relations Committee said they were miffed that the administration did not consult with them before pushing the agreement through in the lame duck.

The plan is unpopular, and consensus cant be reachedit derails passage this also takes into account oil lobbies Taylor 13 (Phil Taylor, environment and energy reporter, E&E publishing, E&E: U.S.-Mexico
transboundary agreement mired in Congress,, January 9, 2013) A nearly year-old agreement to allow the joint development of oil reservoirs straddling the U.S.-Mexico maritime border in the Gulf of Mexico stalled last month in the Senate, stranding a widely supported measure many
argue would increase domestic energy security and improve the safety of offshore drilling. The agreement announced by government officials last February in Los Cabos, Mexico, creates a framework for U.S. offshore drilling companies and Mexicos Petrleos Mexicanos, or Pemex,

to jointly develop oil production in an area nearly the size of New Jersey that is outside both countries economic waters
(Greenwire, Feb. 20, 2012). Resources in the area have been off limits to both countries under a treaty that runs through 2014. The Mexican Senate ratified the agreement last April, loosening a decades-long policy that forbids foreign oil companies from developing Mexican oil. But

while the agreement is backed strongly by the U.S. Interior and State departments, major oil companies, and senators on both sides of the aisle, it failed to pass the chamber during the lame-duck session. Senators on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Dec. 18 sent out a hotline request to attach the agreement as an amendment to H.R. 670, a Northern Mariana Islands lands bill, in hopes of passing it by unanimous consent, but a Republican senator objected, according to Senate sources (E&ENews PM, Dec. 19, 2012). The impasse derailed, for now, an agreement that many
think could improve bilateral relations and spur much-needed reforms in Mexicos energy sector.

The plan is so confusing that it destroys any support CFR 12 (Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Oil Mexico, and the Transboundary
Agreement, Minority Staff Report, December 21, 2012) The TBA contains numerous provisions in anticipation of disputes on allocation of resources under a unitization agreement and implementation of those agreements. Legal analysis of these provisions is beyond the scope of this report. However, it is apparent that lack of clarity on the legal status of the dispute resolution mechanisms should be of concern to the U.S. Congress. The Obama administration contends that the agreements arbitration mechanism is not intended to produce binding decisions, however, that is not specifically provided for in the text of the agreement and would be different from arbitration mechanisms in many other international agreements.

Obama dislikes the planhe will be forced to intervene [read this with obama intervention bad] Boman 6-26 (Karen Boman, Rigzone Staff, White House Cannot Support Gulf Transboundary Bill, _Bill, June 26, 2013) The Obama administration cannot support a bill that would move forward establishing a framework for oil and gas exploration and production in the transboundary zone in the Gulf of Mexico, the Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) reported Tuesday. The White House does support the goal set out in H.R. 1613 to provide Congressional approval of the agreement and allow the Secretary of the Interior to implement the agreement. However, the

administration "strongly objects" to exempting actions taken by public companies in accordance with transboundary

agreements from requirements under Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act and the Securities and Exchange Commission's Natural Resource Extraction Disclosure Rule. "As a practical matter, this provision would waive the requirement for the disclosure of any payments made by resource extraction companies to the United States or foreign governments in accordance with a transboundary hydrocarbon agreement," OMB said in a statement. "The provision directly and negatively impacts U.S. efforts to increase transparency and accountability , particularly in the oil, gas and minerals sectors." OMB noted that the Obama administration looks forward to working with Congress to enact legislation that would focus the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Agreement, without the inclusion
of extraneous and unnecessary provisions.

Cooperation over the Transboundary Agreement is massively unpopular CFR 12 (Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Oil Mexico, and the Transboundary
Agreement, Minority Staff Report, December 21, 2012) The Transboundary Agreement (TBA) provides a bilateral basis upon which both countries can develop the legal framework necessary for joint production of oil and natural gas reserves that extend across our national
maritime borders in the Gulf of Mexico. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs Patricia Espinosa Cantellano signed the Transboundary Agreement (TBA), officially called the Agreement between the United States of America and the United Mexican States Concerning Transboundary Hydrocarbon Reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico, on February 20, 2012, at Los Cabos, Mexico (see Appendix I for the text of the agreement). The Mexican Senate ratified the agreement on April 12, 2012, but the Obama administration has not formally submitted the agreement for passage in the U.S. Congress. The TBA was negotiated pursuant to the 2000 Treaty on the Continental Shelf, which called for the U.S. and Mexico to establish a mechanism that transboundary oil and gas reserves would be shared equitably. At the time,

concern that companies would drain Mexican reserves from the U.S. side of the border was, reportedly, a hot button political issue in Mexico. Upon conclusion of the 2000 Treaty, the U.S. put a moratorium on oil and gas exploration on
the U.S. side of the maritime border. It is widely acknowledged in both capitals that the TBA negotiations moved quickly in order to be completed in time for the ratification in Mexico prior to 2012 Congressional elections. Both PAN and PRI political leaders used their influence to gain support for the TBA, which the Mexican Senate ratified. In the United States, the TBA

stalled within the Obama administration despite support by key officials in the Departments of State and Interior. Prior to completing the agreement, the
Departments of State and Interior participated in Senate Foreign Relations Committee briefings to discuss status of the negotiations; however,

there was no consultation on specific text. The SFRC Minority Staff appreciated candid assessments offered by lead U.S. negotiator Ambassador Richard Morningstar. The Obama administration has not taken a position on the key question of whether the TBA is a treaty or an executive agreement, although the latter seems the administration's
more likely preference. A treaty would be reviewed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and require the advice and consent of the Senate, demanding a two-thirds vote, for approval. As part of the treaty process, the resolution of ratification would be reviewed and amended in order to provide Congressional understandings on issues left unclear by the text of the TBA itself. Additional implementing legislation affecting the Department of Interior would also be required and need review by its committees of oversight. An executive agreement would not require the two-thirds vote necessitated by a treaty, but instead it would be approved in the same form as a statute, requiring passage by majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Legislation

approving the agreement, necessary implementing authorities, and clarifications regarding certain provisions of the TBA could be subject to amendment, including by items unrelated to the TBA itself, thus possibly miring the TBA in other political fights.

The plan destroys the environment, pissing off environmentalists, and threatens national military preparedness Bolton 10 (Alexander Bolton, , Obamas drilling proposal sparks battle among Senate Dems,, 03-31-10) President Barack Obamas decision to open the nations coastline to offshore drilling has set up a fracas with Senate Democrats. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), one of the leading Senate opponents of offshore drilling, has

blasted Obamas plan. But Virginia Democratic Sens. Jim Webb and Mark Warner are on board, urging Obama to move quickly to
open mid-Atlantic shores for oil and gas exploration. Drilling off the Virginia coast would endanger many of New Jerseys beaches and vibrant coastal economies, Lautenberg said in a statement. Giving

Big Oil more access to our nations waters is really a Kill, Baby, Kill policy: it threatens to kill jobs, kill marine life and kill coastal economies that generate billions of dollars, he added. Offshore drilling isnt the solution to our energy problems, and I will fight this policy and continue to push for 21st century clean energy solutions. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (N.J.) also took a strong stance against Obamas proposal Wednesday. I have let the administration know
that offshore drilling is a non-starter for me, Menendez told The Newark Star-Ledger. A spill in Virginia ends up in Cape May, New Jersey. Obama has proposed opening a vast stretch of the Atlantic coast, from the northern tip of Delaware to mid-Florida, to offshore drilling. Webb and Warner pushed the administration to act in a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in January. "We would urge you to promptly commence these steps in order to ensure that the Virginia lease sale is conducted in a manner that is timely and consistent with the interests of the environment and our national security," the lawmakers wrote. Sen. Bill

Nelson, a Democrat from Florida, also raised concerns over how the new drilling proposal might affect military exercises in his state. Ive
talked many times to Secretary Salazar and told him if they drilled too close to Floridas beaches theyd be risking the states economy and the environment, Nelson said in a statement. I believe this plan shows they heeded that concern. Now I need to hear from Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Nelson added. And I

want him to look me in the eye and assure me that this plan will not compromise national security by interfering with the unfettered space we have for training and testing our most sophisticated military weapons systems. Republican critics, such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, have also put pressure on Obama to develop the nations energy resources. Environmentalists argue the potential energy gains are not worth the expected impact on beaches and marine life.

Plan is controversial and saps PC Morgan and Clark 11 (Curtis and Lesley, Miami Herald, A year after Deepwater Horizon disaster,
opposition to oil drilling fades,, 04-17-11) In Washington, the Obama administration has adopted what Interior Secretary Salazar called a "thoughtful and deliberate approach'' to reopening the gulf, with a new oversight agency and new safety measures notably, one mandating that the
industry develop deep-water containment systems for worst-case blowouts, like the one that destroyed the Deepwater Horizon. In October, the White House lifted the drilling ban it imposed after the BP spill but didn't start issuing new permits until last month, approving 10 new deep water wells so far, with 15 more in process. The administration also agreed to open new territory for exploration by selling new leases but only in the already heavily drilled central and western gulf. The three bills approved by a House committee last week don't target Florida waters specifically but lawmakers potentially could use them as tools to carve out prime areas for drilling, or shrink or lift the moratorium. For now, with the House and Senate controlled by different parties, it's

doubtful any drilling bill can make it out of Congress. Nelson and most environmentalists believe the ban on Florida's federal waters can survive political pressure and maneuvering. "President Obama would have to lose and Bill Nelson would have to lose and they'd have to be replaced by people who want to remove that boundary,'' said Fuller of the Florida Wildlife
Federation. "I don't think that is going to happen.'' A more serious threat, they say, is the possibility of a future Florida Legislature opening up state-controlled waters. That move would make it politically difficult to justify a continuing federal ban. A

coalition of environmental groups, Save Our Seas, Beaches and Shores, launched a petition drive after the 2009 House vote to put a ban
on drilling in state waters into the Florida Constitution. Former Gov. Charlie Crist's effort to do the same thing during a special legislative session in July proved dead on arrival. So far, Fuller acknowledged, only a few thousand signatures have been gathered through an online site, far short of the nearly 700,000 needed. In February, Crist's former chief financial officer, Alex Sink, who lost the governor's race to Scott, agreed to co-chair the petition drive with the goal of getting an amendment proposal on the ballot by 2012 or, more realistically, the following year.

Fuller doesn't anticipate lawmakers trying to ram through a divisive drilling bill in the near future but
"that is one reason why we want it in the Constitution. We don't want to see it as a possibility at all.''

Bill Nelson = US Senator from Florida

Everyone either hates drilling or hates Obamas push Hobson 12 (Margaret Kriz Hobson, E&E reporter, Obama's development plans gain little political
traction in years since Gulf spill,, 04-18-12)
President Obama is embracing the offshore oil and gas development policies he proposed in early 2010 but were sidelined in the shadow of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Two years after the BP PLC oil rig exploded, killing 11 people and causing the worst oil spill in U.S. history, Obama's "all of the above" energy policy includes offshore drilling provisions that are nearly identical to his aggressive March 2010 drilling plan. Since the moratorium on offshore oil drilling ended in late 2010, the administration expanded oil and gas development in the western and central Gulf of Mexico and announced plans for lease sales in the eastern Gulf. The White House appears poised to allow Royal Dutch Shell PLC to begin exploring for oil this summer in Alaska's Beaufort and Chukchi seas and to open oil industry access to the Cook Inlet, south of Anchorage. The administration is also paving the way for oil and gas seismic studies along the mid- and south Atlantic coasts, the first such survey in 30 years. While opening more offshore lands to oil and gas development, the Obama administration has also taken steps to make offshore oil drilling safer, according to a members of President Obama's oil spill commission. That report criticized

report card issued yesterday by Oil Spill Commission Action, an oversight panel formed by seven Congress for failing to adopt new oil spill

safety laws but praised the Interior Department and industry for making progress in improving offshore oil development safety, environmental protection and oil spill preparation. An environmental group was less complimentary. A report yesterday by Oceana charged that the measures adopted by government and industry are "woefully inadequate." As the 2012 presidential campaign heats up and gasoline prices remain stuck near $4 per gallon, Obama's offshore oil development policies aren't winning him any political capital. The environmental community hates the drilling proposals. The Republicans and oil industry officials complain that the White House hasn't gone far enough. And independent voters are confused by the president's rhetoric. According to the GOP political firm Resurgent Republic, independent voters in Colorado and Virginia don't understand what Obama's "all of the above" energy mantra means. The report said, however, that once the policy was "described as oil, gas, coal, nuclear power, solar and
other alternative energies, participants became enthusiastic and view such a strategy as credible and necessary to becoming more energy independent." A recent Gallup poll indicated that American voters are polarized on energy issues. The survey found that 47 percent of the public believes energy development is more important than environmental protection, while 41 percent of the public ranks protecting the environment as a bigger priority. In that political climate, Obama's offshore oil development policies are not likely to affect the nation's most conservative or liberal voters, noted Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. "The

environmentalists have no place to go except Obama, and Obama isn't going to convince any conservatives or Republicans to back him" based on his oil and gas proposals, Sabato said. "He's obviously aiming at swing
independents," Sabato added. "He's trying to show that he's pursuing a middle path, the one many independents like. Maybe it will work." Back to the original plan, minus 2 pieces Obama's all-of-the-above energy policy is in keeping with his pre-oil-spill offshore oil and gas development proposal. After the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the White House slapped a six-month moratorium on all new oil and gas development. Since the moratorium ended, Obama has systematically reintroduced most of the early oil development proposals. Two pieces of the old plan are missing. Obama backtracked on his proposal to allow oil exploration off Virginia's coast. The new East Coast offshore plan lays the groundwork for seismic studies, but not drilling, along the mid- and south Atlantic. The White House also dropped a proposal to allow exploration in the eastern Gulf of Mexico within 125 miles of Florida, an area off limits due to a congressional moratorium. During 2010 negotiations, the administration offered to allow oil leasing in the region if Congress lifted the moratorium and passed a global warming bill. When the climate change legislation died, however, the drilling provision lost White House favor. Since the Republicans took control of the House in 2011, GOP leaders have essentially allowing development

advanced a series of bills that would go far beyond Obama's offshore oil drilling policies, along all U.S. shores. But those measures have been thwarted by the

Democrat-controlled Senate.

**This is just an FYI: Democrats dont support itbarely passed the house H.R. 1613: Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act On Passage of the Bill in the House Number: House Vote #293 [primary source:] Date: Jun 27, 2013 (113th Congress) Result:

Passed Bill: H.R. 1613: Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act Introduced by Rep. Jeff Duncan [R-SC3] on April 18, 2013 Current Status: Passed House This was a vote to pass a bill or agree to a resolution. TOTALS REPUBLICAN DEMOCRAT AYE 256 59% 228 28 NO 171 39% 1 170 NOT VOTING 7 2% 4 3 REQUIRED: Simple Majority