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US-Mexico Discuss Electrical Reform/CFE Prices at Risk

By Paloma Duran | Fri, 04/01/2022 - 11:33

John Kerry Visits Mexico. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador reported that yesterday he met with US Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry and US businessmen from the energy sector to discuss Mexico's clean energy plan and the electrical reform. “We explained to them the reasons for the electrical reform and apparently, they felt very satisfied. Kerry is very respectful. He understands that there has been a change in Mexico and therefore, the same policy can no longer be maintained. It was a friendly, and necessary meeting.”

For the third time, Kerry visited Mexico to discuss electrical reform since it is a US priority to ensure that Mexico's energy policy promotes green initiatives and does not affect US companies. During the meeting, it was agreed to create a working table, which will be headed by the US ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar to keep the US authorities up to date on the electrical reform. Last week, 40 Republican congressmen signed a letter asking Democrat Carolyn Maloney, Chairwoman, House Committee on Oversight and Reform, to convene a hearing and investigate Mexico’s electrical reform since the country fails to comply with its energy-related commitments, in addition to violating the USMCA agreement.

AMLO calls on legislators to vote  on electrical reform. López Obrador called on legislators to rebel against their parties and vote freely in favor of the electrical reform, saying it will benefit all Mexicans. “I call on all political parties to allow their legislators to vote according to their convictions and not be manipulated. If they are not allowed, I hope they rebel and do it. It is their duty to fight for the benefit of all Mexicans.”

The parliamentary coalition groups MORENA, PT and PVEM agreed to present the ruling on President López Obrador's electrical reform on April 11, in the hope that the reform will be voted sooner. The current legislative period ends on April 30. However, MORENA wants to ensure the approval of the reform in both chambers before it ends. Nevertheless, there have been no negotiations with the opposition to assure the votes required for the two thirds majority required.

 AMLO: CFE in danger without electricity reform. López Obrador emphasized that the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) runs the risk of not being able to guarantee electricity at fair prices, since there are more competitors and the reforms of previous governments do not allow it to produce more electricity. “We need the reform to strengthen the CFE and guarantee fair rates. We continue to lose ground to other competitors. The error lies in the agreements made during past governments that only allow it to generate 30 percent of the country’s electricity. It is not that it does not have capacity, but that it legally cannot produce. We urgently need to vote for the reform.”

On Oct. 1, President López Obrador sent the electricity reform to Congress, which seeks to guarantee energy security in the country and control costs by handing 56 percent of the country's energy market to CFE, while 46 percent will be handled by the private sector. Although the reform has not been approved yet, it has been highly controversial. Many experts warn that if approved, dirty energy will prevail and be more expensive.

New Center for the Identification for missing people. López Obrador announced that yesterday he sent an initiative to the Chamber of Deputies to create the National Center for Human Identification, aimed at speeding to the search for and identification of missing people. “It is an initiative that seeks to remove the impunity that has existed for many years. The Initiative was prepared by the Undersecretary of the Interior Alejandro Encinas, so we believe it will be approved. We will be announcing its progress.”

The government has highlighted that through this new center and initiative it seeks to restructure the country's forensic system. In 2021, Mexican authorities announced there were 91,672 missing people, of which 22,595 were women and 68,562 men. According to authorities, most missing people´s cases end in homicides or human trafficking. In 2021, the Mexican government announced the country was undergoing a forensic emergency. However, the measures implemented did not change the situation. Consequently, activists, relatives of the disappeared and NGOs have urged the government to have specialized institutions and legislations.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Gobierno de México, Milenio
Photo by:   Gobierno de México
Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Journalist and Industry Analyst