Social impact of Mexico’s energy reform is topic at Rice’s Baker Institute June 7


David Ruth

Social impact of Mexico’s energy reform is topic at Rice’s Baker Institute June 7

HOUSTON – (May 31, 2018) – Experts from Mexico and the United States will explore the social impact of Mexican energy reform at a June 7 conference at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Picture of oil derrick and wind turbinesThe event will be hosted by the Baker Institute’s Center for Energy Studies and Mexico Center as well as the University of Texas at Austin’s Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law and BusinessBureau of Economic Geology’s Center for Energy Economics (UTA BEG-CEE) and the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies’ Matías Romero Visiting Scholars Program. It is free and open to the public but registration is required.

Who:               Panelists and moderators include Francisco Monaldi, fellow in Latin American energy policy at the Baker Institute; Jose Maria Lujambio, partner and director of the energy practice area at law firm Cacheaux, Cavazos and Newton; Lourdes Melgar, research affiliate at the Center for Collective Intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former Mexican deputy secretary of energy for hydrocarbons; Tony Payan, the Françoise and Edward Djerejian Fellow for Mexico Studies and director of the Mexico Center; Melinda Taylor, senior lecturer and executive director of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law and Business; Miriam Grunstein, nonresident scholar at the Mexico Center; Owen Anderson, professor at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy Law and Business; Benigna Cortés Leiss, former general director at Chevron Energía de México and global adviser, UTA BEG-CEE and nonresident fellow, Baker Institute; and Michelle Michot Foss, chief energy economist and head of UTA BEG-CEE.

Kenneth Medlock, the James A. Baker III and Susan G. Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics and senior director of the Center for Energy Studies, will give welcoming remarks.

What:             A conference titled “Identifying, Assessing and Mitigating the Social Impact of Mexican Energy Development.”

When:            Thursday, June 7, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Registration and a continental breakfast begin at 8:30 a.m.

Where:           Rice University, James A. Baker III Hall, Doré Commons, 6100 Main St.

Mexico’s energy reform has opened the oil, gas and electricity sectors to private investment across the value chain. Billions of dollars will be invested, often in rural, underdeveloped areas that are occasionally inhabited by indigenous communities. The social impact of such investments on local communities — such as the resolution of property rights issues and a “not in my backyard” attitude — can be a source of conflict, organizers said. How Mexico manages such conflicts will affect the country’s ability to attract much-needed investments. At this event, a panel of experts will examine the social, legal and institutional context in which this issue is developing. Grunstein will also present her recent work — offering insights and case studies on the social impact of Mexico’s energy reforms — and then open the discussion to industry and academic experts.

The public must RSVP for the event at A live webcast will be available at the event page.

Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.

For a map of Rice University’s campus with parking information, go to Media should park in the Central Campus Garage (underground).


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Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top three university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog,

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.