Rick Bowmer, Associated Press
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert speaks during an interview at the Utah state Capitol, Thursday, March 8, 2018, in Salt Lake City. Herbert says he's open to approving a $1.65 million lawsuit against California over rules that make coal-fired power more expensive.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Gary Herbert met Monday with Mexico's Secretary of Energy Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, establishing a working group to advance energy cooperation.

The meeting was part of a weeklong trade mission to Mexico City by Herbert and key staffers to promote the business relationship between the two.

The working group will be made up of leaders across government, industry and education to promote greater energy cooperation. As a first step in collaboration, Coldwell was invited to participate in the Governor’s Energy Summit on May 15 in Salt Lake City.

“Our conversations to initiate a deeper energy cooperation with Utah are encouraging, as we intensely work in North America toward the integration of reliable energy markets and infrastructure, investment promotion in the energy sector, and development of new talent and technologies,” Coldwell said.

Mexico is in the midst of transforming its energy sector through reforms that are constitutionally guaranteed. Opening the energy sector represents $200 billion in investments and could translate into 800,000 jobs.

Coldwell spoke about the reforms at an industry conference last month in Houston.

Herbert hopes to build on his 10-year Strategic Energy Plan with its cornerstones of market based regulation, innovation and infrastructure that drive energy development.

Utah, he added, is in a unique position to strengthen its partnerships with Mexico.

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"We both share regions rich in natural resources, we are connected through the Western Energy Grid, and we are actively exploring port access and other development opportunities," he said.

The working group will be led by Mexico’s Ministry of Energy and the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development, and is expected to take shape in the coming weeks.

“We are proud to work in partnership with Mexico’s Ministry of Energy to advance mutually beneficial energy opportunities across research, innovation and investment,” said Laura Nelson, the governor's energy adviser.