Salazar Contradicts Biden Administration on Mexico’s Electricity Reform

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar. Photo: Google


Days after U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar publicly stated on Thursday, Feb. 3, that Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) “is right” about Mexico’s energy sector requiring reforms, the Wall Street Journal’s Mary Anastasia O’Grady published a column calling for Salazar’s removal from his post, claiming his vocal contradiction of  President Joe Biden’s policies are worthy of demotion from his ambassadorship.

While Salazar took to his Twitter account to mitigate the impact of his comments, the damage had already been done. López Obrador responded to the ambassador’s comment with a glowing “Muy bien, Ken,” while U.S. pundits like O’Grady expressed their distaste of the envoy’s words.

“There is no way to exaggerate Salazar’s bad judgment,” read O’Grady’s piece. “At stake are the constitutional reforms to Mexico’s energy laws, proposed in September by AMLO and pending approval in Congress.”

O’Grady went on to say that “the reforms directly contravene the country’s commitments under the agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada to guarantee open and competitive markets and equal treatment for all parties, national and foreign,” highlighting the provisions detailed by the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA).

O’Grady similarly took the opportunity to highlight U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s meeting with AMLO this past Jan. 20, where Granholm postured concerns from the United States about Mexico’s pending energy reform and its negative impact on the USMCA. While Mexico’s Secretary of Energy Rocio Nahle said that Granholm had said nothing about the energy reforms, which would put Mexico’s state-owned Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) as the priority uploader to the country’s energy grid ahead of private investment and green energy, Granholm told a different story.

The U.S. official said she  “expressly conveyed … real concerns with the potential negative impact of Mexico’s proposed energy reforms on U.S. private investment” and noted how they “could also hinder U.S.-Mexico joint efforts on clean energy and climate.” 

“The visit and Granholm’s statement resolved the matter until Salazar decided to side with the Mexican president,” continued O’Grady. “The damage has already been done.”

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