SS Ballard Javeri HydroCarbons THA Aff Rd7x - ddi

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8 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 9 μήνες)

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THA 1AC




Contention 1:
Yes we can

The Transboundary Hydrocarbons Agreement

was just negotiated between the
U.S. and Mexico

Mexico is waiting on the US

Danish et al, 12

(KYLE, SHELLEY FIDLER, TOMÁS CARBONELL, KAITLIN GREGG, HAROLD BULGER, TRACY
NAGELBUSH, “Climate, Energy, and Air Weekly Update


Feb 20
-
24 2012, VanNess Feldman LLP,
2
-
27
-
2012,
http://www
.vnf.com/news
-
policyupdates
-
683.html)//SDL


US, Mexico Reach Agreement on Regulation of Cross
-
Boundary Offshore Drilling.
A new

Transboundary Agreement
” between the United States and Mexico,

signed February 20,
provides for shared regulation of offshore o
il and gas production

in deposits that extend across
the waters of both countries. Under the agreement,
joint teams

of inspectors from the United
States and Mexico will
oversee exploration and development

activities in cross
-
boundary
deposits
to ensure
tha
t

they comply with

applicable
environmental

requirements
.

Regulatory
agencies from both countries will also have an opportunity to review plans for oil and gas
production in cross
-
boundary deposits before any drilling activity begin. Lastly,
the agreement
provides a framework for U.S.
companies

and

Mexico’s

state
-
owned oil company,
Pemex, to
enter

into
voluntary agreements for joint

exploration

and development activities.
If ratified
by
both countries,
the

Transboundary
Agreement will remove a legal

obstacle

to oil and gas
production

in approximately 1.5 million acres of offshore deposits containing an estimated 172
million barrels of oil and 304 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
Oil and gas production in these
waters is presently prohibited
under an

agreement between the two countries that was due to
expire in 2014.


The Mexican Senate has already ratified the THA

U.S. ratification

is key to its
eff
ectiveness

Velarde, 12



(Rogelio Lopez Velarde, attorney and counselor
-
at
-
law, held various positions
at
Pemex during 1988
-
1993, including that of Financial Advisor to the Finance Department, In
-
House Counsel in Houston, Texas, In
-
House Counsel in New York, and Head of the International
Legal Department of Pemex. He was honored with the “Most Distinguished

Attorney Award” of
Pemex for the period 1990
-
1991, former Chairman of the Energy Committee of the Mexican Bar
Association, and currently he is the President for the Latin America Chapter of the Association of
the International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN)
, as Visiting Professor of Judicial Process on the
Mexican Legal Studies Program at the University of Houston Law Center, and he is currently the
director of the Energy Law Seminar organized between the Universidad Iberoamericana and the
Mexican Bar Associ
ation. “US
-
Mexican treaty on Gulf of Mexico transboundary reservoirs”,
International Law Office, 3
-
19
-
2012,
http://www.internationallawoffice.com/newsletters/Detail.aspx?g=b9326bf8
-
f27f
-
43ff
-
b45a
-
1b2b70ccb217andredir=1)


The treaty will become effective 60

days after the last notification

of approval has been made
by Mexico or the United States. In this regard,
the Mexican Senate ratified the treaty

in April
2012;
therefore, the treaty's effectiveness is subject to approval

and publication
by the U
nited
S
ta
tes,
which

to date
has neither ratified nor published the treaty
.



Plan

Plan: The United States federal g
overnment should
ratify
the
Transboundary
Hydrocarbons Agreement.

Contention 2: Mexico

Drilling in the Western Gap is inevitable


cooperation is key

to effectiveness

-
US out competes Mexico in resource development

-

Exploiting is happening now

-
Co
-
op=

Urdaneta ’10



associate at Grau Garcia Hernandez &

Monaco (Law Firm) (Karla,
“TRANSBOUNDARY PETROLEUM RESERVOIRS: A RECOMMENDED APPROACH FOR THE UNITED
STATES AND MEXICO IN THE DEEPWATERS OF THE GULF OF MEXICO”, Houston Journal of
International Law, Volume 32, Number 2, Spring 2010)


In view of this,
Mexico is

primarily
concerned with reservoirs located

outside the Western
Gap, and more specifically, those located
in the Perdido fold belt
.

Nonetheless,
it is only a
matter of time until

the Western Gap is made available

for exploitation and
production
b
y both countries
, which will create the same issues for the Western Gap
faced by other areas of the GOM
. The principal challenges that Pemex faces with regard to deep
-
water production
include: (i) human resources; (ii) exploration; (iii) exploitation; (iv)

technology; and (v) financing. (85) These challenges will have to be
assumed in the short term because Mexico's oil production is decreasing, and Pemex has estimated that fifty
-
five percent of the country's 54
billion barrels of equivalent oil from prospe
ctive resources (86) is located in deep
-
waters. (87) Currently,
Mexico cannot
compete with the U
nited
S
tates with regard to the development of the resources in
the GOM,
for it has

not

yet
progressed beyond

the stage of
exploration
.

In order to
strengthen P
emex's financial and technical capacities and provide it with more flexibility for the performance of its functions, Mexico b
egan
reforming its energy legislation. (88) This process ended in November 2008. However, the last legislative reform does not end
o
w Pemex
with the capital and technology necessary to undertake the activities of exploration and production of deep
-
waters in the GOM. (89)
The
issue of transboundary reservoirs has attracted

the attention of Mexican
lawmakers,
politicians, and economists
,

among others. (90) Most of them advise taking prompt
action to protect Mexico's rights to its resources.

(91) Moreover,
the exploitation of the
resources located in the GOM will be a way for Mexico to increase its levels of
petroleum production.

To summar
ize, in the GOM (i) there are formations, like the Perdido fold belt, that cross the maritime
boundary of Mexico and the United States, and that will enable production as early as 2010, (ii)
substantial
exploration
activity has

already
been conducted by th
e U
nited
S
tates, (iii) large areas have been
leased by the United States for exploitation, while others are currently being
exploited, (iv) Mexico has not achieved the levels of resource development that the
United States has achieved
, and (v) both countri
es need to take advantage of the production of their hydrocarbons in the
short term. (92)
In light of these circumstances
, with the aim of protecting the rights of
both countries and optimizing the use of resources, it
would be appropriate for
Mexico and t
he U
nited
S
tates
to cooperate in the development of

their
transboundary reservoirs
. This cooperation will maximize economic benefits, avoid
physical waste, increase energy security, and avoid international disputes likely to
arise if the United States init
iates production of the transboundary reservoirs.
Cooperation has led to beneficial results among other countries that have faced
similar dilemmas.

PEMEX is failing


Lack of production

Melgar 2k12

[Senior reporter for Americas Daily
-

http://www.americasquarterly.org/node/3781
)
-
SR]

Exploration and Production: The Keys to Deeper Reform


The

2008
Energy Reform initiated the makeover of
the

Mexican exploration and production (
E&P) industry
.
Crucial institutional arrangements
were defined, such as the governance of PEMEX
, the establishment of a regulator for E&P, the terms for
procurement, and the structure of contracts.


Some

of the
innovations have

since
raised questions about
their usefulne
ss. But

they
opened a path toward

an institutional
architecture that resembles

more closely the organization of
the oil industry

worldwide
. Mexico continues to have one of the most

if
not the most

closed arrangements in the petroleum industry.
The lack of
outside investment and input in
PEMEX

Exploration and Production (PEP), the crown jewel subsidiary of PEMEX,
has hindered
innovation

and technological advancement.
The

limits of existing
arrangements become
increasingly evident as

traditional
areas of prod
uction decline

and new opportunities
, such as in
the deep and ultra
-
deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, are pursued under tougher conditions
.


Preserving the status
quo

and maintaining legal coherence

has been made
more
costly

by the refusal to amend the
Co
nstitution to allow some degree of private participation in the energy sector

as has been done in
Brazil, Norway and even Cuba. Mexico’s oil industry is accepting inefficiency while paying a high price to pretend that it ca
n do it all
on its own.


In fact,

world
-
class service companies such as Halliburton, Schlumberger, Noble, and Baker
-
Hughes work closely with
pemex engineers to keep the oil flowing. According to Petroleum Intelligence Weekly
, PEMEX paid over $16 billion for
oil field services in 2007
. PEP

is repeatedly the number
-
one client of Schlumberger.


A central element of the 2008 Energy
Reform was the definition of a new incentive
-
based contractual framework.
The model was developed to attract

leading
oil companies

to the Mexican market
while keepi
ng the constitutional mandate

intact
.
It relies on a fee
-
per
-
barrel rate determined in a bidding process, where ownership of
hydrocarbons belongs to the Mexican state.
Production, profits and risk are not shared
, and
there is no reserve booking for the
companies.


Thus far, the new contract model has not attracted any major oil
companies.
It has been applied to low
-
risk projects where a high recovery rate is ensured. Instead
of having a Petrobras or a Chevron working jointly with PEMEX in the deep waters

of the Gulf
of Mexico, bidding has gone to mature fields, with services companies such as the United
Kingdom’s Petrofac Facilities Management winning the auction.


Expanding drilling in the Western Gap is key to boost Pemex production

Iliff ’12 (
Laurence,

“Pemex Makes Its First Big Oil Find in Deep Gulf”, The Wall Street Journal, 8
-
29
-
2012,
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444914904577619712736497598.html)


Mexican state
-
owned oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos, or
Pemex, has made

its first
big
crud
e
-
oil discovery in

the deep waters of
the Gulf of Mexico
, near the Mexico
-
U.S.
maritime boundary,
President Felipe Calderon said Wednesday. Mr. Calderon said
the
initial
estimate

of a deposit
in the Perdido area on Mexico's side of the Gulf
was

between 250

million and
400
million barrels of

light
crude
, using the industry's broadest measurement of
"proven, probable and possible," or 3P, reserves
. The exploratory well was drilled in 2,500 meters (8,250 feet) of
water. "We estimate
that this deposit could bel
ong to one of the most important regions of the
deep
-
water Gulf,
" he said
.
The larger "petroleum system
" of additional fields, Mr.
Calderon
added, "
could have

from four billion to
10 billion barrels of crude, which

bolsters our
reserves and
will allow Mexi
co to maintain and increase
petroleum
production

in
the medium
-

and long
-
term."
The new well, dubbed "Trion I," was drilled 39 kilometers (24 miles) south of the U.S.
-
Mexico maritime
border, and 180 kilometers east of Gulf state of Tamaulipas, which also borders the U.S. On the U.S. side of the Gulf, Royal
Dutch Shell RDSB.LN
-
0.11% P
LC
operates its Perdido oil
-
and
-
gas platform in the region. The platform has a peak production capacity of 100,000 barrels per day, according to Shell's webs
ite. Prior to
Pemex's discovery of crude oil at Trion, the oil monopoly had found only natural gas
during the recent increase of its deep
-
water exploratory efforts. Carlos
Morales, head of Pemex's exploration
-
and
-
production division, said in a radio interview that Trion I could be among the top 10 crude
-
oil discoveries on either side
of the Gulf. He sai
d typically a deposit of its type would take seven years to get to the production phase, but that Pemex is going to try to do

that in five years. Mr.
Morales said Pemex began committing more resources to Gulf oil exploration in 2007 with the construction o
f special drilling platforms and said he foresees a
Tamaulipas oil port to service Pemex's future operations in the Gulf. Mr. Morales said
pushing

aggressively
into deep waters
could raise Pemex's crude
-
oil

production

to four million barrels a day from the

current 2.55 million barrels a day. The deep waters of the Gulf are seen by analysts
as one of Pemex's best bets to have another surge of oil production after eight years
of steady declines
. Pemex has traditionally drilled in the shallow waters of the sou
thern Gulf, where the discovery of the supergiant Cantarell
complex in the late 1970s launched Mexico as an oil power. Cantarell's output peaked at more than two million barrels of oil
per day in 2004 and is now around
400,000 barrels a day. Mr. Calderon,
who held up a sample of crude oil taken from the well, said half of Pemex's petroleum reserves could be in the deep waters of

the Gulf. Pemex reported proven hydrocarbon reserves of 13.8 billion
barrels of oil equivalent as of Jan. 1. Its 3P
reserves were
43.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Under current law,
Mexico
doesn't allow foreign companies to drill in its territory except under contract to
Pemex
, with strict rules that ban the sharing of risk or of oil. Oil majors have expressed interest in dril
ling with Pemex on the Mexican side of the Gulf, but
only under shared
-
risk contracts.

The plan solves

the Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement would cause
PEMEX reforms by giving Mexico an overwhelming economic incentive

Melgar, 12



(Lourdes Melgar, dire
ctor of the Center for Sustainability and Business at EGADE
Business School of the Tecnológico de Monterrey. “The Future of PEMEX”, Americas Quarterly,
2012, http://www.americasquarterly.org/node/3781)//SDL

Deepwater drilling is likely to take center stag
e with the

signing of the U.S.

Mexico
T
ransboundary
H
ydrocarbon
A
greement

in February 2012.
The agreement
, ratified by the Mexican Senate but
still awaiting approval in the U.S.,
relieves concerns about the

so
-
called “
straw” effect, in which Mexican
oil is

sipped away by the U.S. as its production advances closer to the

international maritime
border

in the Gulf of Mexico.


The agreement provides a legal framework for development of
oil and gas reservoirs
that cross the maritime border
in the Gulf of Mexico

the first such pact for both countries.
In fact, it is viewed as a dress rehearsal for negotiations the U.S. will have to undertake with Canada, Russia and even Cuba

to
address shared reservoir exploitation.


Implementation will require legal and institutional adjustments in Mexico and in the United
States.
Since it requires joint

or coordinated
production, the agreement

possibly
opens a new
era of cooperation

between PEMEX and international oil companies. If
a transboundary field
were identified,
PEMEX would

have to
work with

field operators on
the U.S. side
.

This makes
technological aptitude particularly relevant, since shared reservoirs are more likely to exist in the deep and ultra
-
deep waters of the
Gulf o
f Mexico.


For sovereignty, energy security and political reasons, Mexico will go the extra
mile to ensure that its hydrocarbon resources are not lost to its neighbor. This gives it a high
incentive to develop the institutional architecture

including stren
gthening the CNH

needed
to implement the agreement.
Identifying and
developing

a joint reservoir would allow PEMEX
to work
in full partnership
with companies at the
cutting
edge of ultra
-
deepwater production
.

The experience, benefits and know
-
how that woul
d be gained may reduce the reluctance to undertake joint production and other
strategic alliances that are banned by PEMEX bylaws. Implementation of the treaty could trigger an accelerated transformation

of
the regime under which deepwater resources are ex
ploited in Mexico.


Exciting times are in sight
. The incoming
administration will be compelled to conduct a debate on the future of PEMEX, and the issue of constitutional reform will have

to be
a full part of it.
The Mexican oil industry can no longer thri
ve on amendments to distorted
schemes.


Current
PEMEX
production risks Mexican economic decline

Samples and Vittor, 12



(Tim R. Samples and Jose Luis Vittor, associate and partners at
Hogan Lovells US LLP. “Energy Reform and the Future of Mexico’s Oil In
dustry: The Pemex
Bidding Rounds and Integrated Service Contracts”, Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, and Energy Law, 6
-
21
-
2012, http://tjogel.org/wp
-
content/uploads/2012/07/Samples
-
Formatted_Final_June13.pdf)

In recent years,
Latin America has seen an

uptick in
interest

as a


destination
for companies
seeking

new opportunities in the exploration


and production of
oil

and gas.1


From the discovery of
massive pre
-
salt oil


fields off the coast of Brazil to unconventional plays in Argentina and


Colombia, the r
egion is generating
renewed interest for the international


energy industry. Four countries in particular

Brazil, Colombia, Mexico,


and
Peru

are moving forward with bidding rounds for significant


exploration and production
contracts

with hopes of attracting technology,


expertise, and capital from the private sector.


The case of

Petróleos
Mexicanos (
Pemex) and
Mexico is especially


compelling
. As a state
-
controlled monopoly,
Pemex is the
sole producer



of crude oil, natural gas,

and refined products
in Mexico
.2


Pemex, the


most
important company in Mexico, is simultaneously referred to as the


“cash cow” and a “sacred
cow” of Mexico.3


As Mexico’s cash cow,


Pemex provides over a third of the federal
government’s revenues
.4


As


Mexico’s sacred cow,
Pemex has immense

and symbolic national


importance
, which is deeply rooted in Mexico’s sense of sovereignty and


independence.
5


Increasingly,
these two roles are in tension as Pemex


struggles to remain a cash cow while
subje
ct to the legal and political


constraints of a sacred national treasure
.6


For most of the 20th
century, Mexico figured among the world’s largest


oil producers and has been a major exporter for much of that time.7


Currently
, however,
Mexico is facing
the prospect of becoming a net


importer of petroleum

within
a decade.8


Pemex has recently undergone


transformations in response to declining production,
but reversing the


tide will require a dramatic departure from the norm
.9


Politically


sensitive
reforms to the energy sector and a major shift in the traditional


Pemex paradigm are needed.10 Together,
Mexico and
Pemex are


entering unfamiliar territory
.11


While a restrictive legal framework has barred competition within


Mexico’s bord
ers,
Pemex is subject to rigid constraints under Mexican


law

with respect to finance
and budgeting, contracting, procurement, and


corporate governance.12
The collective
weight of these restrictions has


limited Pemex’s ability to address lagging produ
ction
.
13 In
response,


under the administration of President Felipe Calderón, legislation


designed to modernize Pemex and allow greater
private participation in


the Mexican oil industry was passed in November 2008 (the Energy


Reforms).14



Mexican e
conomic decline will trigge
r instability throughout Mexico

Kohl, 12


(Keith, 11
-
27
-
12. “Crisis of Consumption,”
http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/mexican
-
oil
-
crisis/2833)//SDL

Of course, we all know the story behind the Cantarell field's downfall.
Once production started to decline, Pemex
began injecting nitrogen

to boost output
.
But
this strategy was short
-
lived
, and production at
the field has been dropping sharply since



roughly
14% each year

for the last six years.


Cantarell's
decline marked t
he beginning of the end for Mexican oil production.


The country's new finds have also
proven underwhelming. The recent discovery by Pemex in Southern Mexico is a perfect example. According to Pemex, the new fiel
d
holds up to 500 million barrels of crude o
il, a trifle compared to the billions of barrels Cantarell once held.


But these days,
Mexico will take whatever it can get... and pray it can hold off the decline
.


Crisis of Consumption


Mexico's declining oil production means there's less oil available
for export
.


Those 2.5 million
barrels flowing from Pemex's wells daily are crucial to the country's stability
.


When almost
40% of your government budget is paid from oil revenue,
exporting less oil is not an option



but that's

exactly
what's happening

(
click charts to enlarge):


mexico exports to u.s.


During the first eight months of
2012, Mexican oil exports to the United States were slightly above one million barrels per day. Last May oil exports fell bel
ow one
million barrels per day for the first ti
me in 27 years.


Barring some miracle taking place in Mexico's oil
industry, I believe
the country will be a net oil importer within ten years.




Mexican stability is critical to U.S. power

Kaplan, 12



(Robert D. Kaplan, chief geopolitical analyst at Str
atfor
d
. “With the Focus on
Syria, Mexico Burns”, Stratfor, 3
-
28
-
2012, http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/focus
-
syria
-
mexico
-
burns)//SDL

While the foreign policy elite in Washington focuses on the 8,000 deaths in a conflict in Syria
--

half a world away from t
he United
States
--

more than 47,000 people have died in drug
-
related violence since 2006 in Mexico. A deeply troubled state as well as a
demographic and economic giant on the United States' southern border,
Mexico will affect America's destiny

in
coming d
ecades
more than any state or combination of states

in the Middle East
. Indeed,
Mexico
may constitute the world's seventh
-
largest economy in the

near
future
.


Certainly, while the Mexican
violence is largely criminal, Syria is a more clear
-
cut moral issue,

enhanced by its own strategic consequences. A calcified
authoritarian regime in Damascus is stamping out dissent with guns and artillery barrages. Moreover, regime change in Syria,
which
the rebels demand, could deliver a pivotal blow to Iranian influence

in the Middle East, an event that would be the best news to U.S.
interests in the region in years or even decades.


Nevertheless, the Syrian rebels are divided and hold no territory, and the toppling
of pro
-
Iranian dictator Bashar al Assad might conceivably bring to power an austere Sunni regime equally averse to U.S. interests
--

if
not lead to sectarian chaos. In oth
er words, all military intervention scenarios in Syria are fraught with extreme risk. Precisely for
that reason, that t
he U
.S. foreign policy elite has continued

for months
to feverishly debate Syria
,
and in many cases advocate armed intervention,
while ut
terly ignoring the vaster panorama
of violence next door in Mexico
, speaks volumes about Washington's own obsessions and
interests, which are not always aligned with the country's geopolitical interests
.


Syria matters and
matters momentously to U.S. inter
ests, but
Mexico

ultimately

matters

more
, so one would think that there would be
at least some degree of parity in the amount written on these subjects. I am not demanding a switch in news coverage from one

country to the other, just a bit more balance. Of

course, it is easy for pundits to have a fervently interventionist view on Syria
precisely because it is so far away, whereas
miscalculation in Mexico

on America's part
would

carry far
greater consequences
. For example,
what if the Mexican drug cartels to
ok revenge

on San Diego?
Thus, one might even argue that the very noise in the media about Syria, coupled with the
relative silence about Mexico, is proof that it is the latter issue that actually is too sensitive for
loose talk
.


It may also be that carte
l
-
wracked Mexico
--

at some rude subconscious level
--

connotes for East Coast elites a south
of the border, 7
-
Eleven store culture, reminiscent of the crime movie "Traffic," that holds no allure to people focused on ancient
civilizations across the ocean.

The concerns of Europe and the Middle East certainly seem closer to New York and Washington than
does the southwestern United States. Indeed, Latin American bureaus and studies departments simply lack the cachet of Middle
East and Asian ones in government

and universities. Yet,
the fate of Mexico is the hinge on which the U
nited
S
tates' cultural and demographic
future rests.


U.S. foreign policy emanates from the
domestic
condition of its society, and nothing will affect its society more than the dramatic
movement of Latin history northward
. By 2050, as much as a third of the American population
could be Hispanic.
Mexico and Central America constitute a

growing demographic and
economic
powerhouse with which the United States has an inextricable relationship
.
In recent
years
Mexico's economic growth has outpaced that of its northern neighbor.

Mexico's population of 111
million plus Central America's of more than 40 million equates to half the population of the United States.


Because of the North
American Fre
e Trade Agreement, 85 percent of Mexico's exports go to the United States, even as half of Central America's trade is
with the United States. While the median age of Americans is nearly 37, demonstrating the aging tendency of the U.S. populati
on,
the media
n age in Mexico is 25, and in Central America it is much lower (20 in Guatemala and Honduras, for example). In part
because of young workers moving northward, the destiny of the United States could be north
-
south, rather than the east
-
west, sea
-
to
-
shining
-
sea of continental and patriotic myth. (This will be amplified by the scheduled 2014 widening of the Panama Canal, which
will open the Greater Caribbean Basin to megaships from East Asia, leading to the further development of Gulf of Mexico port
cities
in
the United States, from Texas to Florida.)


Since 1940, Mexico's population has increased more than five
-
fold. Between 1970 and
1995 it nearly doubled. Between 1985 and 2000 it rose by more than a third. Mexico's population is now more than a third that

of

the United States and growing at a faster rate. And it is
northern Mexico

that
is crucial
. That
most of the drug
-
related homicides in this current wave of violence that so much dwarfs Syria's have occurred
in only six of Mexico's 32 states
, mostly in the
north, is a key indicator of how northern Mexico is being distinguished
from the rest of the country (though the violence in the city of Veracruz and the regions of Michoacan and Guerrero is also n
otable).
If the military
-
led offensive to crush the drug ca
rtels
launched by conservative President Felipe Calderon
falters, as it seems to be doing, and Mexico City goes back to cutting deals with the cartels, then
the capital may in a
functional sense lose even further control of the north, with concrete implica
tions for the
southwestern United States
.


One might argue that with massive border controls, a functional and vibrantly nationalist
United States can coexist with a dysfunctional and somewhat chaotic northern Mexico. But that is mainly true in the short r
un.
Looking deeper into the 21st century, as Arnold Toynbee notes in A Study of History (1946),
a border between a highly
developed society and a less highly developed one will not attain an equilibrium but will
advance in the more backward society's favor
. Thus,
helping to stabilize Mexico

--

as limited as the
United States' options may be, given the complexity and sensitivity of the relationship
--

is a more urgent national
interest

than stabilizing socie
ties in the Greater Middle East
. If Mexico ever
does reach coherent First World
status, then it will become less of a threat, and the healthy melding of the two societies will quicken to the benefit of bot
h.


Today,
helping
to thwart

drug
cartels

in rugged and remote terrain in the vicinity of the Mexic
an
frontier

and reaching southward from Ciudad Juarez (across the border from El Paso, Texas)
means a limited role for
the U.S. military and other agencies

--

working, of course,
in full cooperation with

the
Mexican
authorities
. (Predator and Global Hawk d
rones fly deep over Mexico searching for drug production facilities.) But the legal
framework for cooperation with Mexico remains problematic in some cases because of strict interpretation of 19th century poss
e
comitatus laws on the U.S. side. While the Un
ited States has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to affect historical outcomes in
Eurasia, its leaders and foreign policy mandarins are somewhat passive about what is happening to a country with which the Un
ited
States shares a long land border, that
verges on partial chaos in some of its northern sections, and whose population is close to
double that of Iraq and Afghanistan combined.


Mexico
, in addition to the obvious challenge of China as a rising great power,
will

help

write

the

American

story

in

t
he

21st

century.

Mexico

will

partly

determine

what

kind

of

society

America

will

become
,

and

what

exactly

will

be

its

demographic

and

geographic

character
, especially in the Southwest.

The U.S. relationship with China will matter more than any
other individ
ual bilateral relationship in terms of determining the United States' place in the world, especially in the economically
crucial Pacific.
If

policymakers

in Washington
calculate

U.S.

interests

properly

regarding

those two
critical

countries,

then

the

U
nite
d

S
tates

will

have

power

to

spare

so that its elites can
continue to focus on serious moral questions in places that matter less.


US Power

solves nuclear war
and prevents escalation

Brooks et al 13

[Stephen G. Brooks is Associate Professor of Government at Dartmouth College.G. John Ikenberry is the Albert G. Milbank Profe
ssor
of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University in the Department of Politics and the Woodrow Wilson School of
P
ublic
and International Affairs. He is also a Global Eminence Scholar at Kyung Hee University.William C. Wohlforth is the Daniel We
bster
Professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College. “Don't Come Home, America: The Case against Retrenchmen
t”,
Winter 2013, Vol. 37, No. 3, Pages 7
-
51,
http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/ISEC_a_00107
]

A core premise of deep
engagement

is that it
prevents

the
emergence of a

far more
dangerous

global

security

environment
. For one thing, as noted above,
the United States’
overseas

presence

gives

it

the

leverage

to

restrain

partners

from

taking

provocative

action
. Perhaps more important, its core
alliance commitments

also
deter

states

with aspirations to regional hegemony
from

contemplating
expansion

and make its
partners more secure
, re
ducing their incentive to adopt solutions
to their security problems
that threaten
others and

thus
stoke security dilemmas
. The contention that
engaged
U.S. power dampens

the baleful
effects of
anarchy

is
consistent with

influential variants of
realist theory
. Indeed, arguably the scariest portrayal of
the
war
-
prone

world

that
would emerge

absent the “American Pacifier
” is provided in the works of

John
Mearsheimer
, who
forecasts

dangerous
multipolar regions replete with security competition, arms races, nuclear proliferation
and
associated preventive
war

temptations,
regional rivalries, and

even runs at
regional hegemony and full
-
scale great
power
war
. 72 How do
retrenchment

advocates, the bulk of whom are realists, discount this benefit? Their arguments are complicated, but two capture
most of the variation: (1) U.S. security guarantees are not necessary to prevent dangerous rivalries and conflict
in Eurasia; or (2) prevention of rivalry and conflict in Eurasia is not
a U.S. interest. Each response is connected to a different theory or set of theories, which makes sense given that the whole
debate hinges on a complex future counterfactual
(what woul
d happen to Eurasia’s security setting if the United States truly disengaged?). Although a certain answer is impossible, each

of these responses
is

nonetheless a
weaker

argument for retrenchment than advocates acknowledge. The first response flows from def
ensive realism as well as other international relations theories that
discount the conflict
-
generating potential of anarchy under contemporary conditions. 73
Defensive

realists maintain

that the
high

expected
costs

of territorial conquest, defense dominance, and

an array of policies and
practices that
can

be
used credibly to
signal

benign
intent
, mean that Eurasia’s major states could manage regional multipolarity peacefully
without

the
America
n
pacifier
.
Retrenchme
nt would

be a
bet on

this scholarship
, particularly
in
regions where

the kinds of
stabilizers

that nonrealist theories point to

such as democratic

governance or dense
institutional

linkages

are

either
absent

or

weakly

present
. There are three other major b
odies of scholarship, however, that might give decisionmakers pause before making
this bet. First is regional expertise. Needless to say,
there is no consensus on the net security effects of U.S. withdrawal
.
Regarding each region, there are optimists and p
essimists. Few experts expect a return of intense great power competition in a post
-
American Europe, but many doubt
European governments will pay the political costs of increased EU defense cooperation and the budgetary costs of increasing m
ilitary outlays
. 74 The result might be a
Europe

that
is incapable of securing itself

from various threats that could be destabilizing within
the region and beyond

(e.g., a regional conflict akin to the 1990s Balkan wars), lacks capacity for global security missions in w
hich U.S. leaders might want
European participation, and is vulnerable to the influence of outside rising powers.
What about the

other parts of Eurasia where
the
U
nited
S
tates ha
s a substantial military presence
?
Regarding the Middle East
,
the balance begi
ns
to
swing

toward

pessimists

concerned that states currently backed by Washington


notably
Israel,
Egypt, and Saudi Arabia

might

take actions upon U.S. retrenchment that would
intensify
security dilemmas
. And concerning
East Asia, pessimism

regarding the
region’s prospects without the
American pacifier
is pronounced
.
Arguably the principal concern expressed by area experts is that
J
apan and South Korea are

likely to
obtain

a

nuclear

capacity

and

increase their military commitments, which could
stoke a
destabilizing

reaction

from

China
. It is notable that during the Cold War, both
South Korea and Taiwan

moved to obtain a nuclear weapons capacity
and
were

only constrained

from doing so
by a

still
-
engaged United States
. 75 The second body of scholarship ca
sting doubt on the bet
on defensive realism’s sanguine portrayal is all of the research that undermines its conception of state preferences.
Defensive realism’s
optimism
about

what would happen if
the U
nited
S
tates
retrenched

is

very much
dependent on

its

particular

and highly
restrictive

assumption

about
state preferences
;
once we relax this

assumption, then
much of its basis

for
optimism vanishes
. Specifically,
the prediction of post
-
American tranquility

throughout Eurasia
rests on the
assumption that sec
urity is the only relevant state preference
, with security defined narrowly in terms of protection from
violent external attacks on the homeland. Under that assumption, the security problem is largely solved as soon as offense an
d defense are clearly disti
nguishable, and offense is
extremely expensive relative to defense. Burgeoning
research across

the
social

and

other

sciences
, however,
undermines
that

core
assumption
:
states have preferences

not only for security but also
for

prestige,

status,

and

other

a
ims,

and

they

engage

in

trade
-
offs

among the various objectives. 76 In addition,
they define security

not just in terms of territorial
protection but
in view of many and varied milieu goals
. It follows that
even
states that are

relatively
secure

may

nevert
heless
engage in

highly
competitive behavior
.
Empirical studies show that this is

indeed sometimes
the case
.
77 In sum, a bet on a benign postretrenchment Eurasia is a bet that leaders of major countries will never allow these nonsecu
rity

preferences to influence their strategic choices.
To the degree that these bodies of scholarly knowledge have predictive leverage,
U.S.
retrenchment would result in

a
significant
deterioration

in

the

security

environmen
t in

at least some of
the world’s
ke
y regions
. We have already mentioned the
third, even more alarming body of scholarship. Offensive realism predicts that
the
withdrawal

of the American pacifier
will yield

either

a
competitive

regional

multipolarity

complete
with

associated
insecurity,

arms

racing,

crisis

instability,

nuclear

proliferation
,

and the like
, or bids for regional hegemony, which may be
beyond

the

capacity

of

local

great

powers

to

contain

(and which in any case would generate intensely competitive behavior, possibly
including

regi
onal

great

power

war
). Hence it is unsurprising that retrenchment advocates are prone to focus on the second argument noted above: that avoiding
wars and
security dilemmas in the world’s core regions is not a U.S. national interest. Few doubt that the Unit
ed States could survive the return of insecurity and conflict among Eurasian
powers, but at what cost? Much of the work in this area has focused on the economic externalities of a renewed threat of inse
curity and war, which we discuss below. Focusing
on th
e pure security ramifications, there are two main reasons why
decisionmakers may be
rationally

reluctant to run the
retrenchment experiment.

First,
overall higher levels of conflict make the world a more dangerous
place. Were Eurasia to return to
higher

le
vels

of

interstate

military

competition
,
one would see

overall higher levels of military spending and innovation and a higher likelihood of competitive regional pr
oxy wars and arming of client state
s

all
of which would be concerning, in part because
it wou
ld promote a faster
diffusion of military power away from the
U
nited
S
tates. Greater
regional insecurity
could

well
feed

proliferation

cascades, as states such as
Egypt,

Japan,

South

Korea,

Taiwan,

and

Saudi

Arabia

all might
choose to create nuclear forces
. 78 It is unlikely that
proliferation
decisions

by any of these actors would be the end of the game: they
would

likely
generate pressure locally for more
proliferation
. Following Kenneth Waltz, many retrenchment advocates are proliferation optimists, assu
ming that nuclear deterrence solves the security problem. 79
Usually carried out in dyadic terms, the debate over the stability of proliferation changes as the numbers go up. Proliferati
on optimism rests on assumptions of rationality and
narrow security pr
eferences. In social science, however, such assumptions are inevitably probabilistic. Optimists assume that most states are l
ed by rational leaders, most will
overcome organizational problems and resist the temptation to preempt before feared neighbors nuc
learize, and most pursue only security and are risk averse. Confidence in
such probabilistic assumptions declines if the world were to move from nine to twenty, thirty, or forty nuclear states. In ad
dition, many of the other dangers noted by
analysts

who
a
re concerned about the destabilizing effects of nuclear proliferation

including the
risk of
accidents

and

the prospects
that some new nuclear powers will not have
truly
survivable forces

seem prone to go up as the number of nuclear powers grows
. 80
Moreover, the risk of “
unforeseen
crisis
dynamics
” that
could
spin

out

of

control

is also higher
as

the number of
nuclear powers increases
. Finally, add to these
concerns the enhanced danger of nuclear leakage, and a world with overall
higher levels of
sec
urity competition becomes

yet
more
worrisome
. The argument that maintaining Eurasian peace is not a U.S. interest faces a second problem. On widely accepted realist assu
mptions,
acknowledging that
U.S. engagement preserves

peace

dramatically narrows the di
fference
between retrenchment and deep engagement
. For many supporters of retrenchment, the optimal strategy for a power such as the United
States, which has attained regional hegemony and is separated from other great powers by oceans, is
offshore balanci
ng
:

stay over the horizon and “pass the
buck” to local powers to do the dangerous work of counterbalancing any local rising power. The United States should commit to

onshore balancing only when local balancing is
likely to fail and a great power appears to

be a credible contender for regional hegemony, as in the cases of Germany, Japan, and the Soviet Union in the midtwentieth ce
ntury.
The
problem is that

China’s rise

puts

the possibility of its attaining
regional hegemony on the
table
,
at least in the medi
um to long term. As Mearsheimer notes, “
The

U
nited

S
tates

will

have

to

play

a

key

role

in

counter
ing

China
, because its
Asian neighbors are not strong enough

to do it by themselves.” 81 Therefore, unless China’s rise
stalls, “
the United States is likely to

act toward China similar to the way it behaved toward the
Soviet Union

during the Cold War.” 82 It follows that
the U
nited
S
tates should take no action that would compromise its capacity to move to onshore balancing
in the future. It
will need to maintain

key

alliance

relationships

in

Asia

as well as the

formidably expensive
military

capacity

to intervene

there
. The implication is to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, reduce the presence in Europe, and pivot to Asia


just
what the United States is doing. 83
In sum, the argument that U.S. security commitments are unnecessary for peace is countered by a lot of scholarship, including

highly
influential realist scholarship. In addition, the argument that Eurasian peace is unnecessary for U.S. security is weakened

by the potential for a large number of nasty security
consequences as well as the need to retain a latent onshore balancing capacity that dramatically reduces the savings retrench
ment might bring. Moreover,
switching
between
offshore

and onshore
balancing

could

well
be difficult
.
Bringing together the thrust of many of the arguments
discussed so far underlines the degree to which the case for retrenchment misses the underlying logic of the deep engagement
strategy.
By supplying

reassurance,
deterrence
, and active management,
the U
nited
S
tates
lowers security competition

in the world’s key regions
, thereby
preventing

the emergence of a

hothouse
atmosphere for growing

new
military capabilities
.
Alliance ties dissuade

partners from ramping up and also pro
vide leverage
to prevent military transfers to
potential rivals
. On top of all this,
the

U
nited

S
tates’

formidable

military

machine

may

deter

entry

by

potential

rivals
.

Current great power military expenditures as a percentage of GDP are at historical lows
,
and thus far other major powers have shied away from seeking to match top
-
end U.S. military capabilities. In addition, they have so far been careful to avoid attracting the
“focused enmity” of the United States. 84 All of the world’s most modern militari
es are U.S. allies (America’s alliance system of more than sixty countries now accounts for some
80 percent of global military spending), and the gap between the U.S. military capability and that of potential rivals is by
many measures growing rather than
shrinking. 85



No offense


the US will act hegemonic even in decline

plan key to
effectiveness

Robert
Kagan
, Senior Fellow @ Brookings, former fellow @ Carnegie, PhD History, expert in defense policy, The Weekly
Standard, January
2011
, “Cutting defense

spending would place the US in a greater peril than the debt crisis”


It would require
not just

a
modest reshaping of

American
foreign policy

priorities
but
a
sharp
departure from

this
tradition to bring abou
t

the kinds of
changes that would allow

the U
nited
S
tates
to make do with

a

substantially
smaller force structure
.
Is such a sharp
departure in the offing? It is no doubt true that many Americans are unhappy with the on
-
going warfare in
Afghanistan and to a lesser extent in Iraq, and that, if asked,
a majority would say the United States should
intervene less frequently in foreign nations, or perhaps not at all. It may also be true that the effect of long
military involvements in Iraq and Afghanistan may cause Americans and their leaders to shun furth
er
interventions at least for a few years

as they did for nine years after World War I, five years after World War
II, and a decade after Vietnam. This may be further reinforced by the difficult economic times in which
Americans are currently suffering. Th
e longest period of nonintervention in the past century was during the
1930s, when unhappy memories of World War I combined with the economic catastrophe of the Great
Depression to constrain American interventionism to an unusual degree and produce the fir
st and perhaps
only genuinely isolationist period in American history. So are we back to the mentality of the 1930s? It
wouldn’t appear so.

There is no

great
wave of isolationism

sweeping the country
.

There is
not even the equivalent of a Patrick Buchanan,

who received 3 million votes in the 1992
Republican primaries.
Any
isolationist tendencies

that might exist
are

severely

tempered

b
y

continuing
fears of terrorist attacks

that might be launched from overseas. Nor are the
vast majority of Americans sufferi
ng from economic calamity to nearly the degree that
they did in the Great Depression.
Even if we were to repeat the policies of the 1930s
,
however,
it is worth recalling

that the unusual
restraint

of those years
was not sufficient
to keep the U
nited

S
tates

out of war
.




Specifically
,
US
Power

decline causes lashout

Goldstein ‘07

(Avery, Professor of Global Politics and International Relations @ University of Pennsylvania, “Power transitions, institutio
ns, and
China's rise in East Asia: Theoretical
expectations and evidence,” Journal of Strategic Studies, Volume 30, Issue 4 & 5 August)


Two closely related, though distinct, theoretical arguments focus explicitly on the consequences for international politics o
f a
shift in power between a dominant sta
te and a rising power. In War and Change in World Politics, Robert Gilpin suggested that
peace prevails when a dominant state’s capabilities enable it to ‘govern’

an
international order that it has shaped. Over time, however,
as

economic and technological
diffusion proceeds during eras of
peace and development,
other states are empowered
. Moreover, the burdens of international governance
drain and distract the reigning hegemon,
and
challengers

eventually
emerge

who seek to rewrite the rules of
governance. A
s the power advantage of the erstwhile hegemon ebbs,
it may
become desperate enough
to
resort to

the ultima ratio of international politics,
force
, to forestall the increasingly urgent
demands of a rising challenger
. Or as the power of the challenger rises
, it may be tempted to press its case
with threats to use force. It is
the

rise and
fall of

the
great powers

that
creates

the circumstances under
which major wars, what Gilpin labels ‘
hegemonic wars’
,

break out.13 Gilpin’s argument logically encourages
pessimism about the implications of a rising China. It leads to the expectation that international trade, investment, and
technology transfer will result in a steady diffusion of American economic power,

benefiting the rapidly developing states of the
world, including China. As the US simultaneously scurries to put out the many brushfires that threaten its far
-
flung global
interests (i.e., the classic problem of overextension), it will be unable to devote

sufficient resources to maintain or restore its
former advantage over emerging competitors like China.
While the erosion of the once clear
American advantage plays itself out, the US will find it ever more difficult to
preserve

the
order

in Asia that it c
reated during its era of preponderance. The expectation is an increase in the
likelihood for the use of force


either by a Chinese challenger able to field a stronger military in support of its demands for
greater influence over international arrangements

in Asia, or by a besieged American hegemon desperate to head off further
decline. Among the trends that alarm those who would look at Asia through the lens of Gilpin’s theory are
China’s
expanding share of

world trade and
wealth

(much of it resulting from

the gains made possible by the
international economic order a dominant US established); its
acquisition of technology in key sectors
that have

both civilian and
military applications

(e.g., information, communications, and electronics linked
with the ‘rev
olution in military affairs’);
and

an
expanding military burden for the US

(as it copes with
the challenges of its global war on terrorism and especially its struggle in Iraq) that limits the resources it can devote to

preserving its interests in East Asia
.14 Although similar to Gilpin’s work insofar as it emphasizes the importance of shifts in the
capabilities of a dominant state and a rising challenger, the power
-
transition theory A. F. K. Organski and Jacek Kugler present in
The War Ledger focuses more c
losely on the allegedly dangerous phenomenon of ‘crossover’


the point at which a dissatisfied
challenger is about to overtake the established leading state.15 In such cases,
when the power gap narrows,
the dominant state becomes increasingly desperate to
forestall
, and the
challenger becomes increasingly determined to realize the transition to a
new international order whose contours it will define.
Though suggesting why a rising China
may ultimately present grave dangers for international peace when its c
apabilities make it a peer competitor of America,
Organski and Kugler’s power
-
transition theory is less clear about the dangers while a potential challenger still lags far behind
and faces a difficult struggle to catch up. This clarification is important i
n thinking about the theory’s relevance to interpreting
China’s rise because
a broad consensus prevails

among analysts
that Chinese military
capabilities are at a minimum two decades from putting it in a league with
the US

in Asia.16 Their
theory
, then,
po
ints with alarm to trends in China’s growing
wealth and
power relative to the U
nited
S
tates, but especially looks ahead to what it sees as the period
of maximum danger


that time when a dissatisfied China could be in a position to overtake the US on dimen
sions believed
crucial for assessing power. Reports beginning in the mid
-
1990s that offered extrapolations suggesting China’s growth would
give it the world’s largest gross domestic product (GDP aggregate, not per capita) sometime in the first few decades
of the
twentieth century fed these sorts of concerns about a potentially dangerous challenge to American leadership in Asia.17
The
huge gap between Chinese and American military capabilities
(especially in terms of
technological sophistication)
has

so far
discouraged prediction of comparably disquieting
trends on this dimension, but inklings of similar concerns may be reflected in
occasionally alarmist reports about purchases of

advanced
Russian air and naval
equipment, as well as concern that Chinese espio
nage may have undermined
the American advantage

in nuclear and missile technology, and speculation about the potential military
purposes of China’s manned space program.18 Moreover,
because
a dominant state may
react to
the prospect of a crossover and beli
eve that it is wiser to
embrace
the logic
of
preventive war and act early to delay a transition
while the task is more
manageable
, Organski and Kugler’s powertransition theory also provides grounds for concern about the period prior to
the possible crossov
er.19




Contention 3:
Gulf Advantage


Deepwater oil accident inevitable in the Gulf of Mexico

Shields, 12



(David, independent energy consultant. “QandA: Is Mexico Prepared for
Deepwater Drilling in the Gulf?”,

Inter
-
American Dialogue’s Latin American Energy Advisor,
2/20/2012,
http://repository.unm.edu/bitstream/handle/1928/20477/Is%20Mexico%20Prepared%20for%2
0Deepwater%20Drilling%20in%20the%20Gulf.pdf?sequence=1)//SDL

"They say that
if a country does not defen
d its borders, then others will not respect those borders
.


That is probably how we should understand
Pemex's decision to drill

the Maximino
-
1 well in


3,000
meters of water in the Perdido Fold Belt,
right next to the

shared maritime
boundary

with


the
United
States.
It is a decision that

does not make sense in terms of competitiveness or


production goals. It
is about
defending the final

frontier of national sovereignty

and sticking the


Mexican flag on the floor
of the Gulf of Mexico to advise U.S. c
ompanies that they have no right


to drill for oil in the
ultradeep waters on the Mexican side
. The recently signed deepwater


agreement obliges both countries to work
together and share the spoils of the development of transboundary reservoirs, if they
actually exist. For now, Pemex, in line with
constitutional


restrictions, is going alone on the Mexican side. Safety is a major concern as Pemex and its


contractors have no
experience in such harsh environments. In fact,
Pemex has never produced


oil
commercially anywhere in
deep water. It does not have an insurance policy for worst
-
case


scenarios nor does it have
emergency measures

in place to deal with a major spill. It does not


fully abide by existing
Mexican regulation of its deepwater activity
, which cannot be enforced.



On the U.S. side, prohibition
of ultradeepwater drilling, enacted after the Deepwater Horizon


spill, has come and gone.
The
next disaster is just
waiting to happen."


Gulf’s ecosystems on the brink

plan key to solve another
accident

Craig, 11


(Robert Kundis Craig, Attorneys’ Title Professor of Law and Associate Dean for
Environmental Programs at Florida State University. “Legal Remedies for Deep Marine Oil Spills
and Long
-
Term Ecological Resilience: A Match Made in Hell”,
Brigham Young University Law
Review, 2011, http://lawreview.byu.edu/articles/1326405133_03craig.fin.pdf)//SDL

These results suggest that
we should

be very
concerned for

the


Gulf ecosystems

affected by the
Macondo well blowout
. First, and as


this Article has emphasized throughout,
unlike the Exxon Valdez


spill,
the
Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred at great depth
, and the


oil behaved unusually
compared to oil released on the surface
.


Second,
considerably more toxic

dispersants were
us
ed in

connection


with
the

Gulf
oil spill

than the Alaska oil spill
.164 Third,
humans


could
intervene almost immediately to begin cleaning the rocky


substrate in Prince William Sound,
but
human intervention

for many


of the important affected Gulf ec
osystems, especially the
deepwater


ones

(but even for shallower coral reefs),
remains

impossible
.



Finally, and perhaps most importantly,
the Prince William Sound


was and remains a far less stressed ecosystem than the Gulf of


Mexico.

In 2008, for ex
ample, NOAA stated that “[
d]espite the


remaining impacts of the [still then]
largest oil spill in U.S. history,


Prince William Sound remains a relatively pristine, productive
and


biologically rich ecosystem
.”165 To be sure, the Sound was not


comple
tely unstressed, and “[w]hen the Exxon
Valdez spill occurred


in March 1989, the Prince William Sound ecosystem was also


responding to at least three notable events in
its past: an unusually


cold winter in 1988

89; growing populations of reintroduced
sea


otters; and a 1964 earthquake.”166
Nevertheless,
the Gulf of Mexico


is besieged by environmental stressors

at another order of
magnitude


(or two),
reducing its resilience

to disasters like the Deepwater


Horizon oil spill.
As the Deepwater

Horizon Commission detailed at


length,
the Gulf faces an

array of long
-
term threats, from the loss of


protective

and productive
wetlands

along the coast to
hurricanes to
a


growing “dead zone
” (hypoxic zone) to sediment starvation to sealevel rise to

damaging channeling to continual (if smaller) oil releases


from the thousands of drilling
operations
.167 In the face of this


plethora of stressors, even
the Commission championed a kind of


resilience thinking, recognizing that

responding to the oil
spill alone


was not enough.

It
equated restoration of the Gulf to “restored


resilience,” arguing that it “represents an effort
to sustain these

diverse, interdependent activities [fisheries, energy, and tourism] and


the
environment on which they depe
nd for future generations
.”168


A number of commentators have
catalogued the failure of the


legal and regulatory systems governing the Deepwater Horizon


platform and the Macondo well
operations.169 The Deepwater


Horizon Commission similarly noted that

the Deepwater Horizon’s


“demise signals the conflicted
evolution

and severe shortcomings



of federal regulation of offshore oil drilling in the United States.”170


In its opinion, “[
t]he
Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, and oil


spill did not hav
e to happen
.”171 The Commission’s
overall


conclusion was two
-
fold. First, “[t]he record shows that
without


effective
government oversight, the
offshore
oil
and gas
industry will


not
adequately
reduce the risk of

accidents, nor prepare
effectively
to


respond in emergencies
.”
172 Second, “
government oversight, alone,


cannot
reduce those risks to the full extent possible.
Government


oversight . . . must be
accompanied by

the
oil

and gas
industry’s


internal reinvention
: sweeping reforms that
accomp
lish no less than a


fundamental transformation of its safety culture.
”173


Gulf ecosystems are critical biodiversity hotspots and have a key effect on the
world’s oceans

Brenner, 8



(Jorge Brenner, “Guarding the Gulf of Mexico’s valuable resources”, Sci
DevNet, 3
-
14
-
2008, http://www.scidev.net/en/opinions/guarding
-
the
-
gulf
-
of
-
mexico
-
s
-
valuable
-
resources.html)//SDL

The Gulf of Mexico is rich in biodiversity
and unique habitats
, and hosts the only
known
nesting
beach of

Kemp's Ridley,
the world's most endan
gered sea turtle.


The Gulf's circulation
pattern gives it biological
and socioeconomic
importance: water from the Caribbean
enters

from the south through the Yucatan Channel between Cuba and Mexico
and, after
warming in the basin, leaves
through the
northern Florida Strait

between the United States and Cuba
to form the Gulf Stream

in the North Atlantic
that helps
to
regulate the climate of western Europe.


Ocean biodiversity key to survival

Craig, 3



(Robin Kundis Craig, Attorneys’ Title Professor of

Law and Associate Dean for
Environmental Programs at Florida State University. “ARTICLE: Taking Steps Toward Marine
Wilderness Protection? Fishing and Coral Reef Marine Reserves in Florida and Hawaii,”
McGeorge Law Review, Winter 2003, 34 McGeorge L. Rev
. 155)//SDL

Biodiversity and ecosystem function arguments for conserving marine ecosystems also exist, just as they do for terrestrial
ecosystems, but these arguments have thus far rarely been raised in political debates. For example, besides significant t
ourism
values


the most

economically
valuable ecosystem service

coral reefs provide, worldwide


coral reefs protect against

storms and dampen other
environmental

fluctuations
, services
worth more than ten times the reefs’ value for food production
. n856
Waste treatment is another
significant, non
-
extractive ecosystem function that intact coral reef ecosystems provide. n857 More generally, “
o
cean
ecosystems play a major role in the global geochemical cycling of all

the
elements that
represent the
basic
bui
lding blocks of
living
organisms
, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus,
and sulfur, as well as other less abundant but necessary elements
.” n858 In a very real and direct sense,
therefore,
human degradation of marine ecosystems impairs the planet’s ability

to support life
.
Maintaining biodiversity is often critical to maintaining the functions of marine ecosystems
.
Current evidence shows that, in general, an ecosystem’s ability to keep functioning in the face of disturbance is strongly de
pendent
on its biod
iversity, “indicating that more diverse ecosystems are more stable.” n859
Coral reef ecosystems are
particularly dependent on their biodiversit
y
. [*265] Most ecologists agree that
the complexity of
interactions and degree of interrelatedness among componen
t species is higher on coral reefs
than in any other marine environment. This implies that the ecosystem functioning that
produces the most highly valued components is also complex and that many otherwise
insignificant species have strong effects on sustai
ning the rest of the reef system
. n860 Thus,
maintaining and restoring the biodiversity of marine ecosystems is critical to maintaining and
restoring the ecosystem services that they provide.

Non
-
use biodiversity values for marine ecosystems have
been calc
ulated in the wake of marine disasters, like the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. n861 Similar calculations could derive
preservation values for marine wilderness. However, economic value, or economic value equivalents, should not be “the sole or

even pri
mary justification for conservation of ocean ecosystems. Ethical arguments also have considerable force and merit.” n862 At
the forefront of such arguments should be a recognition of how little we know about the sea


and about the actual effect of human
a
ctivities on marine ecosystems.
The U
nited
S
tates
has traditionally failed to protect marine ecosystems

because it was difficult to detect anthropogenic harm to the oceans, but
we now know that
such harm is occurring



even though we are not completely sure about causation or about
how to fix every problem.
Ecosystems

like the NWHI coral reef ecosystem
should inspire lawmakers and
policymakers to

admit that most of the time we really do not know what we are doing to t
he
sea and hence should
be preserving marine wilderness whenever we can



especially when
the United States has within its territory relatively pristine marine ecosystems that may be
unique in the world.


The plan solves
-

the THA leads to safety coordinat
ion between the U.S. and
Mexico

Broder and Krauss, 12



business correspondents at the New York Times

(John M. Broder and Clifford Krauss, “U.S. in Accord With Mexico on Drilling”, The New York
Times, 2
-
20
-
2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/world/ame
ricas/mexico
-
and
-
us
-
agree
-
on
-
oil
-
and
-
gas
-
development
-
in
-
gulf.html?_r=1andref=americas)

WASHINGTON


The United States and Mexico reached agreement on Monday on regulating oil and gas development along their
maritime border in the Gulf of Mexico, ending yea
rs of negotiations and potentially opening more than a million acres to deepwater
drilling.


The agreement
,

if ratified by Mexican and American lawmakers,
would

for the first time
provide

for
joint inspection of

the two countries’
rigs

in the gulf. Until n
ow,
neither was authorized to
oversee

the
environmental and safety practices

of the other, even though oil spills do not
respect international borders
.


“Each of the nations will maintain sovereignty and their own regulatory systems,” Ken
Salazar, the inte
rior secretary, said from Los Cabos, Mexico, where the agreement was completed. “But
what
this signifies
,
and what may be the most significant part of the agreement,
is that
we’re moving forward

jointly
with Mexico

to ensure we have a common set of safety
protocols.


“As the Mexicans move into deepwater
development
,” Mr. Salazar said, “
we want to make sure it’s done in a way that protects the
environment and is as safe as possible.”


The Transboundary Agreement, as it is called, will make up to 1.5 million
acres of offshore territory claimed by the United States available for leasing as early as June, though the leases will not b
ecome
active until a pact is ratified. The Interior Department estimates that the area contains as much as 172 million barrels of o
il and 300
billion cubic feet of natural gas, relatively modest amounts by the oil
-
rich gulf’s standards.


Mexico’s oil production has

been a major source for the U
nited
S
tates for more than 25 years,
and

it is
the single

most
important revenue
-
raiser

for
the Mexican government
. But its output has been in sharp decline in the last
decade, as energy demand by its growing middle class has risen, forcing a decline in exports and raising the possibility that

Mexico
could become a net oil importer by the end of
the decade.


Photo


Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, left, Secretary of State Hillary
Rodham Clinton, President Felipe Calderon of Mexico and Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa of Mexico after signing the
Transboundary Agreement on Monday.


Fernando Castillo/Agence France
-
Presse


Getty Images


In response,
Mexico’s
national oil company
, Petróleos Mexicanos, known as
Pemex, has started

a
deepwater drilling program

in recent years
despite concerns that it is not

sufficiently experienced

for t
he task.

Under the
Mexican Constitution,
Pemex cannot bring in a foreign partner like Royal Dutch Shell or Exxon Mobil
to develop the gulf reserves, even though those companies have much more expertise in
drilling in challenging waters
.


Pemex has drilled
more than a dozen exploratory deepwater wells since 2002, but the
results have been mixed. It plans to drill six more wells this year, including two at depths of more than 6,000 feet, where w
ell
pressure is customarily high and the possibility of a blowout

is greater than in shallower wells.


The program has been controversial
in Mexico, especially after the BP accident two years ago. Juan Carlos Zepeda, Mexico’s chief oil regulator, has warned that
Pemex
is not prepared to control a possible leak

from the
two deepest wells it is planning this year

and
that the National Hydrocarbons Commission, the three
-
year
-
old agency Mr. Zepeda oversees, may be overmatched when it comes
to regulating deepwater drilling. With a staff of 60, little logistical capability and

a budget of only $7 million, it has had minimal say in
how Pemex operates.


In 1979, a blowout at one of Pemex’s shallow
-
water wells called Ixtoc I in the Bay of Campeche resulted in
the largest oil spill ever in the gulf until the BP Deepwater Horizon di
saster in 2010.


The issue of sharing oil and gas reserves in gulf
border waters dates from the 1970s. The two countries negotiated a treaty that would define their exploratory rights in borde
r
zones, but the United States Senate declined to ratify it in 1
980.


Presidents Obama and Felipe Calderón agreed to extend a drilling
moratorium in the area until they could negotiate a final accord. The zones are near areas being drilled successfully, but th
ey are in
water depths reaching 10,000 feet and are consider
ed vulnerable to hurricanes.



Mexico doesn’t have the resources

to combat a major oil spill,
and the U
nited

S
t
ates
does
,” said Jorge Piñon, a former president of Amoco Oil
Latin America and a current research fellow at the University of Texas. “
Coordinati
on and sharing

communications,
training, personnel, equipment and technology are essential for safe and productive drilling
.”


Gasoline prices are on the rise, and Republicans have blamed the administration for being
slow to approve more domestic drilling
.

With the new agreement, coming at a time when the White House is moving
closer to approving drilling in Alaskan Arctic waters, Mr. Obama was expected to argue that his policies have led to a surge
in
domestic production.


Plan spills over past the border
to environmental standardization in the entire
Gulf of Mexico



that solidifies preventative measures

Velarde, 12



(Rogelio Lopez Velarde, attorney and counselor
-
at
-
law, held various positions at
Pemex during 1988
-
1993, including that of Financial Advisor

to the Finance Department, In
-
House Counsel in Houston, Texas, In
-
House Counsel in New York, and Head of the International
Legal Department of Pemex. He was honored with the “Most Distinguished Attorney Award” of
Pemex for the period 1990
-
1991, former Cha
irman of the Energy Committee of the Mexican Bar
Association, and currently he is the President for the Latin America Chapter of the Association of
the International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN), as Visiting Professor of Judicial Process on the
Mexican Leg
al Studies Program at the University of Houston Law Center, and he is currently the
director of the Energy Law Seminar organized between the Universidad Iberoamericana and the
Mexican Bar Association. “US
-
Mexican treaty on Gulf of Mexico transboundary rese
rvoirs”,
International Law Office, 3
-
19
-
2012,
http://www.internationallawoffice.com/newsletters/detail.aspx?g=b9326bf8
-
f27f
-
43ff
-
b45a
-
1b2b70ccb217)//SDL

Pemex has indicated that it has

no information to confirm the existence of a transboundary
field
. Howev
er,
it is unlikely that both countries would take the step of concluding such a treaty
without having geological information

to suggest the existence of such a field.
One of the covenants

included in the treaty is particularly significant in this context.
It
requires the

two federal
governments to adopt
common norms and standards concerning safety and environmental
protection
for

the
"
activity contemplated under this agreement
".

Effectively,
this means

a

harmonised
system of
offshore
technical
standards for

exploration and production

in the Gulf of Mexico
-

it seems
highly

unlikely

that the relevant authorities in the
U
nited
S
tates(1)
and Mexico
(2)
would agree
to harmonise

applicable
standards

only in

respect of
transboundary reservoirs.