Mexican Ruling Party Lawmakers Eye Approving Contentious Power Reform By May


MEXICO CITY: Congressional allies of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador are seeking to approve before May a contentious reform that would give the state greater control of the electricity sector, a ruling party lawmaker said.

Manuel Rodriguez, president of the Energy Commission in Mexico’s lower house of Congress, said in an interview that talks with other parties to reach the more than 300 votes needed to pass the reform are going well.

The lawmaker added that changes will be made to Lopez Obrador’s proposal but it will still give the state-owned Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) at least 54% of the country’s power market, as originally proposed.

The Biden administration has repeatedly expressed concerns that the legislation will hamper investment in clean technologies, and climate envoy John Kerry earlier this month pressed Lopez Obrador to ensure the bill does not breach the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade pact.

Rodriguez said lawmakers have been meeting with specialists, academics and private-sector representatives to discuss changes.

“We aren’t in a hurry, but we aren’t going to stop, either,” Rodriguez said. “The plan is to approve (the reform) this session, which ends April 30.”

One of the planned changes would implement a review of contracts of private power providers who currently operate outside the national grid, instead of canceling them outright as the current proposal would, he said.

“The central part of the reform has no changes,” Rodriguez said. “The rest can be improved.”

The ruling National Regeneration Movement and its allies hold 280 seats in the lower chamber but would need 53 more votes to change the Constitution, which would be required to pass the reform.

The leader of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, Alejandro Moreno, said this week that the reform should be voted on after June’s regional elections.

If approved in the lower house, the initiative must also pass through the Senate.  

The reform championed by Lopez Obrador aims to place the electricity sector in the hands of the state-owned CFE, do away with regulatory bodies and guarantee the state’s control over Mexico’s coveted lithium reserves.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

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