By KELIN DILLON
If passed, the controversial proposal to reform Mexico’s energy sector and give its control to the state-owned Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) could skyrocket the country’s carbon emissions to 65 percent, warned the U.S. Department of Energy on Wednesday, Oct. 27.
The constitutional changes proposed by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) would see priority upload to the grid to the CFE, while putting green energy sourced from solar and wind power to the back of the line.
According to a report from the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), post-reform carbon emissions are estimated to increase between 26 and 65 percent, while the cost of electricity generation would hike up from 32 to 54 percent and the chance of power outages throughout the nation would grow from 8 to 35 percent.
“These reforms could potentially distort the principle of economic dispatch by increasing production costs and threatening the country’s short-term climate change commitments,” said Bloomberg News, pointing to Mexico’s already-faltering status in maintaining its part of the Paris Agreement.
AMLO’s staunch support of the state-focused initiative stands in stark contrast to his predecessor, former President Enrique Peña Nieto, who looked to attract investment in wind, solar and other clean energies throughout his administration.
For his part, López Obrador responded to the Department of Energy’s report during his daily morning press conference on Thursday, Oct. 28, maintaining that the U.S. government “does not have information about what is being done in Mexico” and claiming that the carbon emission increase estimates are “false.”
Instead, AMLO said his reform would bring stability to the market, “because if its disorder continues, that chaos, if we can have problems with blackouts and, above all, with increases in the price of electricity” — the very issues the U.S. Department of Energy said will be brought forth through his proposal’s passage.
López Obrador likewise mentioned he had sent a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden outlining his administration’s environmental stances, which the executive said explains Mexico’s “commitments to clean energy production.”