Mexican official to explain liberalization of his country’s energy policies during UHLC lecture

Undersecretary of electricity will outline issues and challenges as energy sector opens to private investment.

University of Houston Law Center Research Professor Allison N. Winnike

Dr. César Emiliano Hernández Ochoa, undersecretary of electricity of the Mexican Ministry of Energy

April 13, 2016 – As part of a University of Houston Law Center lecture series, Dr. César Emiliano Hernández Ochoa, undersecretary of electricity of the Mexican Ministry of Energy, will discuss “Electric Reform in Mexico: Objectives, Design and Outcomes.” His presentation, to be held April 19, is the last in an annual spring lecture series hosted by the Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Center (EENR). Hernández Ochoa’s talk is co-sponsored by the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law at UHLC.
“The University of Houston Law Center has had a long-standing commitment and focus with respect to Mexico as we believe that the interconnectedness of the legal systems of our two countries is strong and becoming even more intertwined,” said Associate Professor Bret Wells, EENR director. “We are excited to have important policy-makers from Mexico come to our school to speak on energy reforms.”  
The Mexican wholesale electricity market became operational on Jan, 27, and the new regulation, transactions and industrial practices are still developing. The new regime involves a liberalization of the electricity sector which requires a greater reliance on markets to coordinate power demand and supply as well as incorporate environmental objectives. Hernández Ochoa will present an overview of these issues and discuss the challenges ahead to implement his major energy policy initiative.

“Since Mexico’s energy reforms were announced in late 2013, signaling Mexico’s opening of the country to foreign investment in the energy sector, much of the attention by U.S. and foreign companies has focused on Mexico’s oil and gas industry,” said UHLC Professor Emeritus Stephen Zamora, director of the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law.

“Mexico’s electricity sector, which also had been virtually closed to foreign businesses before the reforms, is of potentially greater importance over time, as the U.S., Canadian and Mexican electricity sectors become more integrated.  This integration can give the North American countries a great advantage as a competitive world economy.”

Hernández Ochoa was appointed to his current position by President Enrique Peña Nieto on Feb. 5, 2014. He previously served as head of the legal affairs unit of the Ministry of Energy and has served in a number of government positions.

Hernández Ochoa holds a bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Law of the National Autono­mous University of Mexico (UNAM), and is a Fulbright and Ford-MacArthur scholarship grantee. He finished his graduate studies in Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and holds a Ph.D. from UNAM.

The presentation will be from 11:45 a.m. to 12:50 p.m., on Tuesday, April 19, in room 109 BLB at the University of Houston Law Center. Attendees will receive one hour of CLE credit. Please RSVP to

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Media contacts: Carrie Anna Criado, UH Law Center Executive Director of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-2184,; John T. Kling, UH Law Center Communications Manager, 713-743-8298,; Elena Hawthorne, Multimedia Specialist, 713-743-1125,; and John Brannen, Senior Writer, 713-743-3055, 

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