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Thursday May 19, 2022

Mexico energy reforms face pressure

By AFP
January 23, 2022

Mexico City: US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said she had raised the Joe Biden administration´s "real concerns" about Mexico´s planned energy sector reforms, stepping up pressure on the major trading partner.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador´s push to boost the state´s role in the energy industry has alarmed foreign investors and environmentalists, who see the moves as favoring fossil fuels over renewable energy.

Granholm said she had held "frank and respectful dialogue" with Lopez Obrador and other senior officials during a two-day visit to Mexico City.

"In each meeting, we expressly conveyed the Biden-Harris Administration´s real concerns with the potential negative impact of Mexico´s proposed energy reforms on US private investment in Mexico," she said in a statement.

"The proposed reform could also hinder US-Mexico joint efforts on clean energy and climate," she added.

Granholm said that during her talks she was "assured that Mexico is committed to supporting clean energy and resolving current disputes with energy projects within the rule of law."

The reforms championed by Lopez Obrador seek to strengthen the state-owned electricity provider and roll back the effects of liberalization that the leftist president says favored private companies.

The moves have prompted warnings that Mexico is in danger of violating its trade commitments by favoring state-run entities heavily dependent on fossil fuels.

Canada, the third member in a North American trade deal with Mexico and the United States, has also voiced concerns.

Lopez Obrador told reporters that it had been agreed with Granholm to review on a case-by-case basis complaints from US and Canadian companies "where they consider that there is an injustice." He said he had explained to the US energy secretary why the reforms were needed and "the impact that corruption has had on the Mexican energy sector."

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