US Energy Head Has Concerns over AMLO’s Power Reform

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. Photo: NPR


Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) controversial proposed electricity reform, which would prioritize the use of carbon-based fuels over clean and renewable alternatives, was the main topic of discussion on Friday, Jan. 21, when he met with U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm at the National Palace.

“We see a great opportunity to work together on clean energy, to work together toward decarbonization as a North American block,” Granholm said after the meeting. “But we also expect questions around the electricity reform to be resolved.”

One day earlier, four U.S. senators called on Granholm to confront Mexico about its  proposed electricity reform and its potential impact on both the environment and U.S. investments.

Since taking office, López Obrador has repeatedly rejected renewable energy development, instead championing fuel oil and coal use, and favoring the state-run Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) over privately owned companies.

In October, he sent the constitutional electricity reform bill to Congress that would restore the CFE’s market dominance by prioritizing its dispatch and capping private-sector participation at 46 percent.

The reform would also revoke all private-sector generation permits, which currently account for 48 percent of Mexico’s installed capacity, and threaten at least $44 billion in private investment, while potentially violating the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Despite Granholm’s strong reprimand to AMLO regarding the proposed reform bill, the president later characterized his meeting with her as a “success,” saying that she “understood that our mission is to end corruption and to show that we are open to dialogue.”

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