North American Energy Dialogue

Oil pipeline transversing a snowy field in front of forest

A Four-Part Seminar Series Presented by:

The energy markets of Canada, the United States, and Mexico are becoming increasingly interdependent as physical infrastructure and commodities trade continues to grow across North America.  With free trade treatment of many energy commodities through NAFTA, and now USMCA, the three neighbouring countries include each other's largest import and export markets for many of these commodities. Total energy trade (2017) among the three countries totalled approximately $123 billion USD. As a semi-integrated regional energy market, changes in one country have repercussions on its neighbours.

While the three countries share tremendous growth potential through market integration, major challenges can also equally afflict the region. Canada, the United States and Mexico are oil-producing countries that have been affected particularly hard by the economic and market impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. As an oil-producing region all three countries face the challenge of accelerating widespread clean energy innovation as an indispensable part of an effective, long-term global response to our shared climate challenge, and as a critical component for energy security.

The University of Alberta, the University of Texas at Austin, and the Tecnologico de Monterrey, are leading research-intensive universities in their respective countries, each possessing strong energy focused expertise. The three universities are uniquely positioned to create a platform that enables discussion and analysis on energy policy, through a North American perspective. These webinars will include insights from experts from the three countries as well as perspectives from government, academia, industry, and think tanks.

Presented in partnership with:

The School of Government and Public Transformation at Tecnologico de Monterrey

The Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law & Business

Seminar 1

North American Energy Policy post COVID-19: Perspectives from Canada, the United States and Mexico

Date: Thursday, May 7, 2020 (8:30 - 9:30 AM MST)

This introductory webinar captured a North American snapshot of key insights into the COVID-19 crisis and energy sector, and look ahead to the critical areas that policymakers should consider as we move from crisis to recovery. Mediated by Marianne Kah of the Center on Global Energy Policy, it featured panelists Joseph Doucet, Dean of the Alberta School of Business at the University of Alberta, Barry Smitherman, Principle of Barry Smitherman, P.C., and Dr. Luis Serra, Chief Executive of the Energy Initiative at Tecnológico de Monterrey.

Seminar 2

The Mexican Energy Landscape: Perspectives from Canada, the United States and Mexico

Date: Thursday, October 8, 2020 (8:00 - 9:00 AM MST)

See the seminar poster here.

After decades of a closed energy sector, Mexico opened up to private and foreign investment with the Mexican energy reform, which began in 2013. U.S., Canadian, and Mexican companies—from ExxonMobil to Halliburton to Trans Canada—have contributed to the more than $150 billion of investment by foreign companies in oil and gas exploration, pipelines, storage and other infrastructure since the opening of Mexico’s energy sectors including close to $9 billion of Canadian investment in Mexico’s energy sector, of which over $3.1 billion is in renewable energy.

While not modifying the legal framework of 2013’s energy reform, the current Mexican administration has shown signs of changing its energy policy and regulatory direction. The market-oriented energy policies that prevailed since 2013 are shifting toward state-driven policies mainly focused on fossil-fuels, strengthening the state-owned oil and power companies (PEMEX and CFE, respectively), and the construction of large-scale infrastructure projects in search of energy sovereignty. What are the effects on Mexico’s international environmental commitments? What are the overall effects on trade and investment, and for deeper North American energy integration?

The University of Alberta, the University of Texas at Austin, and Tecnologico de Monterrey invite you to a conversation on the topic “Mexico’s Energy Landscape: perspectives from Canada, the United States and Mexico”. Experts from Canada, the United States, and Mexico, will discuss Mexico’s current reality, sharing best practices, experiences, and policy options, from their respective jurisdictions.


Dr. Carlos Elizondo Mayer-Serra, professor at the School of Government and Public Transformation at Tec de Monterrey

Dr. Isidro Morales, Professor and Researcher at the School of Government and Public Transformation, Tecnologico de Monterrey

Jorge Piñon, Director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy, Jackson School of Geosciences, at the University of Texas at Austin

Jorge A. Rave, Chief Representative in Mexico City with Export Development Canada (EDC)

Missed it? Watch the seminar below.

Seminar 3

How Biden's Energy/Environmental Policy Could Impact US-Mexico-Canada Energy Trade

Date: Thursday, February 11, 2021 (10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. MST)

See the invitation here and the seminar poster here.

According to the EIA, U.S. total energy exports exceed imports in 2019 for the first time in 67 years; and the U.S. will remain net exporter through 2050 as a result of increases in energy efficiency, growth in domestic oil and natural gas production, and slow growth in energy demand. How will the Biden administration’s environmental attitude adjust this trajectory and impact partnerships in North America? What is the tradeoff between energy independence in the region and the speed of the energy transition? What is the impact of a reduction of North American hydrocarbon exports on global politics? What can Biden do without the support of Congress and the lack of a “blue wave” in the 2020 election? Will Biden’s infrastructure development pledge impact the region or just the US? Do Canada, and to a lesser extent, Mexico have potential to provide significant future supplies of renewable electricity to U.S. markets, which could help the United States meet environmental policy objectives?

This discussion will attempt to outline the key issues and analyze the possibilities as Biden’s energy policy unfolds.


Dr. Sergio M. Alcocer, Researcher, Engineering Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico

Ben Cahill, Senior Fellow, Energy Security and Climate Change Program, CSIS

Aindriú C. Colgan, DiTax and Trade Policy Manager, American Petroleum Institute

Dr. Andrew Leach, Associate Professor, Alberta School of Business

Moderated by Rachel McCormick, Consul General of Canada in Dallas, United States

Missed it? Watch the seminar below.


Seminar 4

The Canadian Energy Landscape: Perspectives from Canada, the United States and Mexico

Date: TBA

Details to follow.