by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 18:43 (5 days ago) @ hromero

I would note that the document Rob linked to is not the actual proposed law buy an attempt to summarize the proposals. As I read through it, I am struck that it was probably a document composed largely by supporters of the law and lacking in specifics or analysis of potential side effects. I am providing a link to the actual document proposed by the president and his party and I will highlight key parts that are relevant to my concern that plants like that at Petacalco will be prioritized over new clean energy. I will note that my link is also a party document and that there is a lot of salesmanship built into the document, but at least it is specific about some of the proposed reforms.

Link to proposed changes

1.You will notice in this document that solar and wind energy are in third place for electricity generation behind hydroelectric and other existing CFE plants, of which thermoelectric plants are included (in position 2). Only after those first 2 options are considered can solar and electric be considered.

2.The last paragraph of page 7 details that the reform also seeks to change the way in which clean energy certificates (CEL’s) are granted. Rather than being based on a specific location the certificates will be granted to organizations that produce a sufficient percentage of their electricity with the approved clean energy sources. So instead of only giving clean energy certificates to solar panel sites, for example, they can be given to companies whose energy is in part generated by solar panels but may be majority produced by fossil fuels.

3.In the document linked by Rob, on page 13, we can see that this government sees natural gas as a clean energy source even though it is far dirtier than solar, wind and other renewable energy sources.

4.There is absolutely no mention of investing in CFE so that it can transition to renewable energies but instead puts much focus on using the current power plants in CFE’s inventory that are all thermoelectric. Many of those plants have been shut down or scaled back because the introduction of cheaper renewable energies have been able to outcompete them on price. This document makes it very clear that it wants to prioritize those thermoelectric plants over the renewable ones simply because they are privately owned.

The bottom line is that this president is nostalgic for a time when government monopolies like Pemex and CFE controlled vast swaths of the Mexican economy and those in power were able to use them for their personal gain and also some handouts to the Mexican people to buy their votes at election time. Mexico’s electricity costs used to be substantially higher than the rest of the major economies in large part because of the monopoly of CFE. It is only in the last 7-8 years that it has begun to change because of the introduction of competition and because renewable energies are now less expensive than fossil fuels. Mr. Obrador believes that returning to that monopoly will somehow make Mexican lives better but it seems to me that he totally disregards the health implications that burning those fossil fuels burdens the Mexican people with. Not to mention the implications of a warming planet and the costs that it will impose on us all.

MR. LÓPEZ has no illusions about where the trend in energy is going, but neither is he naïve enough to think Mexico's petroleum won't be of critical national importance in 20-30 years into the future. Maybe it is fair to expect a shift to clean energy and electric vehicles in the USA within 20-30 years, but not here in Mexico. Eso es un sueño guajiro. If you listen to him speak on the subject instead of relying on people telling you what he means or says, you'll clearly hear him acknowledge that he is leaving the task of taking the next step to future administrations because 6 years isn't enough time. For the moment he intends to reduce the dependence upon foreign refineries and reign in the unimaginable corruption that the PRI and PAN had allowed in the administration of Mexico's energy production.

In your argument I can hear the exact same words of his critics, many of them aligned with the interests of those most negatively affected by the Reforma: the historically corrupt and carpetbagger capitalists, the latter a mix of scoundrels from both sides of the border and beyond (Repsol, Odebrecht, etc). People waiting to pounce upon Mexico's energy resources including its lithium and kick a few crumb's Mexico's way as they rape the nation. Presidente López Obrador wants to break with colonialist practices and mentality. I say HELL YEAH! So I suspect you draw some of your criticism from the articles written on their behalf posing as reliable news sources.

Yes, I intentionally posted the summary of the federal government's position, not the more complicated to read proposed law. Because I've been listening to the arguments from all sides for years and watched as each time foreign investment wades into Mexico's natural resources, Mexico comes out with mostly a raw deal and a mess to clean up, to put it politely. Mexico has no reason to trust any foreign corporation when it comes to its natural resources. Thus the current rather narrowly defined Reforma that still doesn't put clean energy at the top of the list because so much of the nation still lives in the 19th century, and Mexico's hydrocarbon independence is a necessary step in fixing that problem sooner rather than later.

Since the previous Reforma that was passed during the sexenio of Enrique Peña Nieto it's been revealed that the legislators who voted for it were all bribed. This Reforma addresses that and removes their "prize" from their grasp as best as it can without violating contractual obligations for the most part, with few exceptions from what I understand: those dealing with previously mentioned scoundrels and scallywags.

A new Reforma more focused on cleaner renewable energy will be left to succeeding administrations. This one is intended to make Mexico energy independent and to reduce/remove the accumulated hubris of decades of corruption. It even has support among those in the PRI seeking to detach themselves from their previous reputation. True, a simple effort at legitimacy and self-preservation for the PRI at a time when Morena is winning municipalities and governorships across the nation, yet the PRI's strongest asset has always been its pragmatism when necessary.

Gee, the USA continues relying on natural gas and calling it clean energy. And in comparison to petroleum it is. It's still a mostly wasted by-product of petroleum exploration and extraction. Fracking is being eliminated in Mexico, though the recent gas crisis last February (thank you for that, Texas) has allowed several fracking operations to continue or get underway that otherwise would not have been allowed.

Initially I didn't support "Mr. Obrador" or his policies, but now I find myself taking his side more than not and especially correcting the propaganda being used against him. While neither perfect nor ideal, his pragmatism at this juncture in Mexico's history is better than the continued rape of the nation by the PRI, PAN and PRD who all had the opportunity to show what they could do and blew it. Here in Guerrero the current Gobernadora, ahijada of Presidente López Obrador and daughter of a tarnished politician, known drunk and accused rapist, has her hands full proving she (and Morena) are better for Guerrero than the PRI and PRD. This business with the Partenón is a real test for her here in Zihuatanejo. I'll respect whatever the people decide they want, but I'd just as soon see that nasty monument to corruption disappear and reparations made to my wife's family and others for what that criminal stole from them. The problem is, public perception by many is that the deal is intended to benefit her father. Lots of chisme going around out there.

You know I always respect your point of view, and I am grateful to you for taking the time and effort to express it here. I don't think there's really much difference in what we both hope for Mexico's and Zihuatanejo's future.

Un saludo y un abrazo, amigo.

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