For a week a series of dossiers have been circulating in the Energy Commission of the US House of Representatives, about an investigation launched by the commission headed by Democrat Rep. Frank Pallone, to find out if the oil company Marathon incurred in illegal lobbying with officials from the Trump administration. The company was benefited by a series of regulatory changes that the Secretary of Energy implemented in the first month of the Trump administration.
Marathon has strong investments in Mexico. It stores fuel at the IEnova terminal in Manzanillo and from there it supplies gasoline to its network of Arco gas stations in the north of the country. It has already imported 900 million liters of fuel in a network of 150 stations. 1.6% of the market.
Based in Ohio and led by Greg Goff, who became a powerful figure in the sector after heading Tesoro and then Conoco Phillips, last December The New York Times revealed that Marathon was lobbying government officials to roll back Obama-era regulations on fuel quality. The article alleges that the company also had the support of the Koch brothers, magnates of the energy sector and regular Republican donors.
Congressman Pallone is now looking into who the company's lobbyists are and what links they have with the Trump administration.
There could be interesting revelations regarding Mexico, especially since in the NAFTA talks there were many negotiations relating to energy issues. In the first weeks of negotiations in Washington in 2017, the push of the oil and gas lobby on US officials was so strong that Mexican head negotiator Ildefonso Guajardo did not want to include an energy chapter in the new agreement.
In Mexico, the Mercury agency oversees all legal matters for Marathon. The director of the region is Luis Rosendo Gutiérrez, a man close to Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard.
The Argentine antecedent
In 2017 Luis Caputo, then Minister of Finance under Mauricio Macri, was at the center of the controversy because, together with Marathon, he carried out a 100-year Argentine bond issuance operation without publishing the prospects for the issuance of 2,750 million dollars and without giving an opportunity of repurchase to the Government.
Caputo ended up resigning from Macri's cabinet and under federal investigation, in a case that still brings headaches to the administration.
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