The Mustang Island beaches were relatively deserted.
oil into the factotum of our development. Fortunately, the country has sufficient conditions
that lead us to think that this will be possible.
We have other very important raw materials. We
have an interesting market. We have a population that has well-trained sectors to face these
problems, and we have confidence in ourselves.
The country in previous times had an acceptable rate of development based on oil sufficiency. This decreased in the years 1973 and 1974
when we were forced to import. I believe we
have sufficient conditions in order to make it
possible to organize starting with petroleum but
not depending on it, and to think early about a
substitute for this sort of energy, which is nonrenewable. We believe that this is as good for
the country as it is for all humanity. We are a
frontier generation. We are now between two
systems of energy. We must be very much
aware of this so as not to leave an unresolvable
problem for our children.
Wright: The average Mexican citizen has heard
much about the benefits oil can bring. But only
a small percentage of the population has actually witnessed any immediate effects. President
Lopez Portillo is determined to stabilize his
country's soaring rate of inflation. The president is quick to recognize that too much oil-
related revenue will only worsen his country's
President Lopez Portillo: We believe that it is
not the reserves that must lead the exploitation
within a national system, but the capacity the
country has to invest and to exploit oil. Once
the investment has been made, we will only export as much as the country's economy is able
to digest so as not to bring about the worst sort
of inflation due to financial congestion. This
would force a country that has such serious
lacks as ours to plan, paradoxically, for the exportation of capital. We are fitting our oil ex
ploitation to our economic need.
Wright: Because of its abundant oil and natural
gas supplies, the Mexican government's responsibilities extend beyond its own borders. Developed and under-developed countries now look
to Mexico for help in solving their energy
President Lopez Portillo: We have recently proposed at the United Nations the desirability of
a world plan for fuel where the needs of all
countries are considered, not just the large
countries, the big consumers. All need energy,
but we do not want to have deformations of
this type which would only accelerate disorder.
If we are going to consider the needs of others,
it would be reasonable to consider them within
a certain order and not merely to increase the
disorder. We understand very well the need the
United States has for fuel. We also understand
the needs of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, which
are small countries in a very unfavorable comparative position. We would like all humanity
to understand the need of ordering the passage
of going from one fuel period to another, of ordering and rationalizing the exploration, the exploitation, the distribution and the consumption of the present-day sources of energy, basically, oil.
Wright: President Lopez Portillo also recognizes
that the United States is aware of Mexico's burgeoning influence.
President Lopez Portillo: Naturally conditions
change, and, of course, Mexico's position has
changed. In view of the fact that it now has
something that substantially interests the United States.
Robert Krueger: Well, I think that we have a
changing relationship in our relations with Mexico. And that relationship is changing in part
because Mexico is now the 11th largest country
in the world. Mexico is taking an increasingly
important role internationally, certainly in this
hemisphere, actually throughout the world.
And during a time of a changing relationship,
there are sometimes some growing pains in that
relationship. I think it is to U.S. advantage to
have strong neighbors. And I think the increased strength in Mexico is something we
ought to be pleased about. It doesn't necessarily make it easier in a time of transition, but I
think it is important for the future.
President Lopez Portillo: What I would like to
say is we would very much like to have a more
balanced relationship with the United States so
that we could solve a number of problems that
we have. I would definitely like to be less dependent on the United States, and the United
States would perhaps like to depend less on
OPEC. As long as a country depends more on
itself, it will be in a better situation. But I believe we should contemplate the relationship
with the United States as being a respectful balance and a broadening of our relationship with
the rest of the world, always recognizing the
force of geography. There is a geographic logic.
It is evident that between the neighbors with a
borderline of 2000 kilometers and complementary economies that formulas must be found to
have justice without exploitation. We must go
from one system to another which is broader
and more understanding and comprehensive.
Wright: It should be noted that throughout the
entire blowout incident, natural gas sale negotiations between Mexico and the United States
went on without interruption. The two countries concluded a deal this past September. The
first supplies of Mexican gas should reach the
United States on January first, 1980.
The jeopardy posed by the runaway well has
all but passed. But its repercussions will be
heard well into 1980, and maybe beyond.
Kirby Lilljedahl: Environment, in a sense, is
what we sell. In order to have a place for the
people of Texas to come to, to vacation, and to
enjoy the beach, we've got to keep the environment in such a manner that this is inviting to
the people of Texas, and the midwest as a
matter of fact.
Ralph Thompson: We locally, there was nothing we could do but sit and wait, and that
added to the frustration, knowing that it was
out there, not knowing if and when it was
coming, how severe it would be, and I think
that's still the mood here to a great extent, because the well has not at this point in time been
capped. If it continues to spill, who knows
what might happen next spring when conditions change. The currents and the winds could
conceivably bring that oil back.
Jimmy Halliburton: I was saddened because I
moved to the coast, to South Padre Island, because of the beautiful beaches, and it was a very
horrible sight to see a beach that looked like it
was blacktop. I wasn't really mad; I guess in a
way I was, but I didn't have any anger, it was
just the situation that we wish it hadn't happened, but it happened.
'The well still hasn't been capped. Oil fighter Red Adair and his crew are on the scene now.
They anticipate having it capped within the
next two weeks. Of course the've been saying
this for months. There is still no bilateral treaty
between Mexico and the U.S. to cover environmental catastrophes in the future. It's the
primary issue because we can look forward to a
lot more of these blow-outs in the Bay of Campeche because they're going to do so much
drilling down there." -Kevin Caffrey