Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, met with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and other officials in Mexico City for talks that tackled a Mexican plan that U.S. business leaders worry is curbing investment in renewables.
Granholm outlined an “enormous opportunity for renewable energy in North America,” Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter after the meeting.
Sitting down with Ebrard, Granholm said: “Mexico has such an enviable, an amazing series of clean resources that we want to talk about. And, like all friends, there may be issues we’re also going to work on, on electricity reform.”
Lopez Obrador, who said talks with Granholm had been “cordial” and marked by “respect, understanding and a desire for cooperation on development,” had earlier said he planned to set out the reasons why he was pursuing the market shake-up.
The leftist leader calls his initiative to change the constitution to favor the state power utility a matter of national security, saying past governments skewed the market in favor of private capital.
Not only did this weaken Mexico’s cash-strapped state-owned energy firms, it also hurt consumers and public finances, according to Lopez Obrador, who says he is committed to lowering the country’s carbon footprint with more hydroelectric power.
However, critics say his plan to give market control to the utility, the Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE), is hurting investment in wind and solar power, will increase costs, and make Mexico too reliant on fossil fuels, as the CFE uses hydrocarbons to generate much of its power.
It has also caused diplomatic ructions.
In a letter ahead of Granholm’s visit, four Democratic senators urged her and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to “more forcefully express concerns” about Lopez Obrador’s energy agenda, calling it antithetical to U.S.-Mexico relations.
“It would also threaten at least $44 billion in private investment in Mexico’s energy sector, (and) negatively impact U.S. private sector investment in Mexico,” wrote senators Bob Menendez, Brian Schatz, Tim Kaine, and Jeff Merkley.
Lopez Obrador’s power bill is in Congress and is expected to be voted on by the end of April.
Recently, the European Union ambassador to Mexico said the initiative was crimping investment as it could hinder companies’ commitments to boost renewable energy use.
U.S. carmaker General Motors, a major investor in Mexico, has warned that, without a solid basis for renewable energy generation, Mexico’s auto industry could suffer.
The flagship of Mexican manufacturing has struggled under Lopez Obrador, with automotive output falling for a fourth year running in 2021. Gross fixed investment levels are about 16% lower than when he won election in July 2018.
Federico Peña, a former U.S. energy secretary, said that rather than insisting on a policy that undermined the confidence of U.S. investors, Mexico should be regarding the transition to renewable energies as a “win-win” for both economies.
“Look at the resources that Mexico has: sun, wind, open space, workers,” he said. “They have experience in building highly sophisticated manufactures. They’ve got great potential.”
The Yucatan Times
more recommended stories
Yucatan registers over 60 infections by Covid in 24 hours
On May 19th, the administration of.
“Live without Drugs” campaign connects with Yucatecan students
The Segey and Fundación Azteca convene.
On Thursday, May 19th, the Mérida Airport registered a total of 54 flights, all on schedule
On Thursday, May 19th, three flights.
Mérida joins the national mourning day for victims of femicide in Mexico
On Wednesday, May 18th at 6:00.
Vila Dosal promotes investments in clean energy for Yucatan
During the last day of his.
Driving under the influence, the mayor of Kinchil is involved in a traffic accident
In an embarrassing situation, the mayor.
3-year-old boy dies at La Raza IMSS hospital in Mexico City apparently due to a suspected case of acute hepatitis
The Hidalgo Health Secretariat confirmed that.
Police arrested two subjects in possession of large quantities of different drugs in Tulum, Quintana Roo
Security forces of the three levels.
Campeche Ministry of Health welcomes Cuban doctors brought by the AMLO administration
Campeche would be benefited from the.
Mauricio Vila signs an agreement with the Confederation of Cataluña
The Governor of Yucatan, Mauricio Vila.