AMLO is Planning on Sending New Energy Reform to CongressBy Antonio Trujillo | Mon, 09/06/2021 - 09:33
President López Obrador revealed during his third “State of the Union” address (Tercer Informe de Gobierno) his plans to present a bill to Congress this month intended to revamp the energy sector.
The third State of the Union address pronounced by the president on Wednesday set the stage to announce developments in his administration, which began on Dec. 1, 2018. The much-discussed reform the president announced a few months ago, intended to prioritize the state-owned Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) over the private sector for which has been repeatedly criticized and set back, was once again mentioned by the president. This proposed amendment, López Obrador said, must first be approved by Congress, where a heated debate between members of the president’s own party and rivals is expected.
During his speech, the president resonated his achievements in the energy sector, highlighting his support for the CFE and PEMEX. The president assured his audience that the NOC will soon be able to meet domestic demand. “We are getting rid of vices and dishonest practices in the management of the government,” he said. Other events he highlighted and hailed as his administration's success includes the elimination of a “privatization trend” initiated by his predecessors and, most importantly, the Energy Reform passed under Peña Nieto’s administration (2012-2018).
“We stopped delivering concessions to private companies in mines, water, hospitals, ports, railways, beaches, jails and public works. But the most important thing is that we have stopped privatization in the energy sector – in oil and electricity,” the president said.
The president's controversial measures have been mostly to grant Mexico energy self-sufficiency. These include the modernization of PEMEX’s existing refineries, the construction of Dos Bocas in the state of Tabasco, and the purchase of Deer Park in Texas. “It is important to remember that a new refinery had not been built in our country since the beginning of the neoliberal periodo 42 years ago. The last one was in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, which began operations in 1979,” he commented.
For the new electricity reform he plans on sending the bill later this month to Congress. He stated that while the market was allowed to open up and foreign companies allowed to come operate in the country, CFE was abandoned. “Now we are modernizing the hydroelectric plants to reduce the use of fuel oil and coal in the generation of electricity,” the president added.