Photo: Romain Dancre/Unsplash

By KELIN DILLON

The controversial new changes to Mexico’s electricity law will now see the nation’s Secretariat of Energy (Sener) and Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) review more than 20,000 permits granted to private individuals and enterprises in the energy sector under previous presidential administrations. 

The review will look into permits to operate and open service stations outside of the Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) franchise, as well as reviewing previous requests to leave the chain in favor of other brands and to search for anomalies in “the operation and facilities of the investors” that could affect the nation’s energy sector if “found to be illegal or acts of corruption.”

“There is a great deal of concern, not only among gasoline businessmen but also with marketers and transporters” over the reviews, businessmen who wished to remain unnamed told El Universal.

The open concepts of the new reform put the government in arbitrary control of its implementation, which “leaves us all in a situation of legal uncertainty,” said the private sector representatives. “That is the most worrying thing.”

“Laws, international treaties are being violated, and this hits the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) … surely there must be a reaction from foreigners.”

Just last week, trade representatives from the United States released a six-page long letter detailing the multitude of ways the new energy reform violates the USMCA and demanded a change in action or Mexico will potentially face the ramifications in the trade sector.

CRE records show a total of 7,735 Pemex-operated gas stations within Mexico, with a further 3,798 stations reportedly selling a different brand, the latter of which will now be subject for review.

…March 30, 2021

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