By KELIN DILLON
Following the approval of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) controversial energy bill by Mexico’s lower congressional house on Wednesday, Feb. 24, the private sector is speaking out in a last-ditch effort to stop the bill’s ratification in the Senate.
The new bill would give Mexico’s state-owned Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) priority uploading of its energy to the nation’s power grid, above private companies, regardless of cost, which experts say would be an environmental setback due to the CFE’s less clean energy.
According to the Global Wind Energy Council and Global Solar Council, the bill “poses an unequivocal threat to all local and foreign private sector investment into Mexico’s formerly robust renewable energy market.”
Mexico’s Business Coordinating Council (CCE) warned the same, elaborating that the electricity rates for companies will likely increase following the initiative, which uses up 75 percent of the nation’s generated energy.
“Private investment results in a decrease in the cost of electricity,” said CCE President Carlos Salazar Lomelín. “We cannot promise lower rates and I insist, rates for everyone, not only for households, but for everyone, if we do not have better costs.”
Salazar also said the CFE does not have the infrastructure to serve all of Mexico and will need 63 billion extra pesos a year to handle the task, increasing the energy rates for consumers by an estimated 17 percent.
“Hopefully, when this initiative reaches the Senate, and it will arrive today or tomorrow at the latest, the senators will listen to our points of view and see why we are speaking for the benefit of Mexico and not just complaining about a law as it is sometimes intended to do,” said Salazar.
Government officials, however, are unlikely to listen to the concerns from the private sector, considering AMLO’s request that his reform is passed “without even changing a comma.”
…Feb. 26, 2021