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Biden’s silence on energy reform in Mexico

Senators from the United States questioned the silence of the administration of US President Joe Biden on the energy reform initiative in Mexico.

“Public reports indicate that President (Andrés Manuel) López Obrador interprets the Biden administration’s relative public silence on this issue as indifference to or tacit approval of his government’s decision to prioritize fossil fuel development over renewable energy,” Senators Robert Menendez, Brian Schatz, Jeff Merkley and Tim Kaine said.

Menendez is chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Lawmakers argued that President López Obrador’s political agenda prioritizes carbon-intensive, polluting and more expensive energy sources simply because production is owned by the state.

Through a letter sent on January 18 to Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, and Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of Energy, the legislators established this position.

“We strongly encourage both of you to make this a priority topic of discussion during this important year for climate action, and we especially urge Secretary of Energy Granholm to raise this issue with her Mexican government counterparts during her January visit. to Mexico,” they urged.

Energy reform

In addition, they asked both officials to provide them with an update on the actions that the Biden administration is taking to defend the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and counter “the bullish and nationalist position” of the president. López Obrador towards the Mexican energy sector.

They also highlighted the following: “Cooperation with Mexico in the development of clean energy, including the cultivation of critical minerals, is essential to promote competition with China.”

In the letter, they noted that in December, in line with President López Obrador’s efforts to hamper growth in Mexico’s renewable energy sector, Mexico submitted a revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement woefully underperforming, committing only to cut emissions by 22% and black carbon emissions by 51% by 2030.

In addition, according to them, the Mexican Chamber of Deputies is likely to vote in mid-April on a bill that would reverse the 2014 energy reform law that allowed private and foreign investment in Mexico’s energy sector and restore dominance. of the state Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) on the energy sector.

If enacted, they described that the Mexican government would cancel renewable energy permits, contracts and certificates; would eliminate federal energy regulatory agencies that provide checks and balances to state energy companies; there would be a guarantee that CFE controls at least 54% of the market; a reorganization of private and state energy production quotas to favor the production of fossil fuels; and establish the State as the sole implementer of Mexico’s clean energy transition.

 

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