By KELIN DILLON
As widespread political debate over Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) proposed reform to the country’s electricity legislation, which would grant the state-owned electricity company, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), a 54 percent market share compared to 46 percent by the private sector, both AMLO and CFE CEO Manuel Bartlett Díaz have spoken publicly in its favor, urging legislators to pass the initiative.
On Tuesday, Oct. 5, Bartlett met with executive members of the CFE to encourage their support of the reform, presenting the main points of the reform, the constitutional changes it would implement and its potential positive effects on Mexico, as well as requiring the executives to explain the same topics to their staff.
For his part, AMLO said during his daily morning press conference on Wednesday, Oct. 6, that legislators must choose between foreign companies or the people of Mexico when deciding to pass the reform.
“Legislators in general, not just from one party, have to define themselves and put themselves in their place,” said López Obrador. “There is nowhere to go: If you don’t support the reform, you are in favor of foreign companies that receive subsidies and that can lead us to a crisis of blackouts or an increase in rates.”
Meanwhile, energy experts, including National Chamber of the Transformation Industry (Canacintra) President Enoch Castellanos, contradicted the president’s words and warned that the reform would lower the country’s electricity reserve and “put us at real risk of blackouts” without private sector electricity to balance it out.
Experts likewise pointed that the reform’s favor of the CFE would increase costs that would trickle down to the consumer, ultimately raising prices for Mexico’s population.