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Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE), as mandated by a court order, authorized a reduction in gasoline’s ethanol content, which acts as an oxygenating agent, from 10 percent to 5.8 percent, to be implemented on March 10, which experts say will raise the gasoline’s pollution level.

The Mexican Association for Sustainable Mobility recommends the use of 10 percent ethanol levels in gasoline, saying it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as helps develop the agricultural industry, particularly sugarcane.

“The use of 10 percent ethanol would eliminate about 4 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere per year,” said former North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiator Kenneth Smith.

According to Smith, heightening the level of ethanol in gasoline could increase the profits for Mexican sugarcane farmers by 3.5 billion pesos.

Allowing higher ethanol levels in Mexican gasoline would make the product more similar to the type of gasoline sold in the United States.

The legal amount of ethanol was increased to 10 percent in an amendment NOM-016 in June 2017, though that was reversed by the courts in January 2020, following allegations from Mexican environmentalist Gabriel Quadri that ethanol is actually more polluting for the environment.

…Feb. 23, 2021

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