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Mexico Cries Foul at Pure Fuel Cutoff Ordered by Texas Governor

MEXICO CITY — The Mexican authorities mentioned on Thursday that it was working to reverse an order from Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas to limit pure fuel exports, a part of that state’s effort to resolve widespread energy outages which have left tens of millions of Texans with out electrical energy in the course of a lethal winter storm.

Mr. Abbott’s order has heightened tensions between the 2 international locations, with high Mexican officers protesting the governor’s determination to chop off fuel provides simply as Mexico works to resolve its personal mass energy outages on account of the frigid climate.

“We’re doing our diplomatic work in order that this doesn’t occur,” President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico mentioned at a information convention on Thursday, referring to Mr. Abbott’s order. “This wouldn’t simply have an effect on Mexico — it will additionally have an effect on different states within the Union.”

Governor Abbott on Wednesday ordered Texas producers who had been exporting pure fuel out of state to as a substitute promote to in-state energy turbines till Feb. 21.

The fallout south of the border from Mr. Abbott’s measure underscored the extent to which Mexico depends on america for a lot of its energy, at the same time as Mr. López Obrador pushes for better Mexican power sovereignty.

Fuel-fired crops generate about two-thirds of Mexico’s energy. In 2019, 96 p.c of pure fuel imports had been from america, in line with the U.S. Vitality Info Administration.

The arctic climate in Texas froze natural-gas pipelines between the 2 international locations, in line with Mexican power officers, which, coupled with a surge in demand for electrical energy in america, disrupted power manufacturing throughout northern Mexico and left nearly 5 million prospects in Mexico with out energy earlier this week.

The mass outages affected not simply personal houses but additionally business, with main producers like Basic Motors and Volkswagen pressured to halt operations, resulting in an estimated $2.7 billion in losses, in line with Reuters.

On Thursday, Mexico’s state power firm, the Federal Electrical energy Fee, or C.F.E., mentioned it had restored energy to all customers by producing power from different sources, together with hydroelectric and coal-fired crops.

This newest outage comes on the heels of 1 in December that briefly left about 10 million individuals with out electrical energy.

Authorities in Mexico had been fast to shift the blame for this week’s outage to the nation’s northern neighbor, with Mr. López Obrador hitting again at critics of the state power firm.

“Regardless that the issue originates in america, in Texas to be exact, all of the criticism is towards the Federal Electrical energy Fee, towards the federal government of Mexico,” the president mentioned on Thursday.

Mexico’s financial system minister, Tatiana Clouthier, mentioned on Twitter that she had spoken to Roberta Jacobson, a high Biden administration aide for the Southwestern border, relating to the problems confronting each Mexico and america due to the “emergency scenario dealing with Texas” and mentioned each international locations had been searching for “speedy options.”

Vitality specialists mentioned the most recent energy blackout will add ammunition to Mr. López Obrador’s push to overtake the power sector and assure Mexican power independence, irrespective of the associated fee to customers or buyers.

“Proper now it’s straightforward to level to Texas, to america, to the dependence on fuel imports,” mentioned Adrián Garza Patiño, a senior analyst at Moody’s, the ranking company. “And much more so with the response from the federal government of Texas itself.”

Mr. López Obrador, who has made rebuilding each the C.F.E. and the state oil firm, Pemex, a central pillar of his political and financial agenda, despatched a invoice to Congress this month that might quash competitors from personal renewable power crops by making state-owned crops, lots of which run on fossil fuels, first in line to provide the nation’s energy.

The proposal has been met with an outcry by enterprise teams and environmentalists alike, with the adjustments prone to considerably set again Mexico’s dedication to lowering emissions by privileging coal- and oil-powered crops over privately funded renewables.

Mr. López Obrador’s political get together, Morena, has a majority in each homes of Congress, however the invoice’s future stays unsure. On Monday, Mexico’s antitrust watchdog urged legislators to not approve the proposal, saying the reforms would severely stifle competitors.

Later within the week, the finance committee within the Chamber of Deputies, the decrease home, mentioned the reforms might spark electrical energy value hikes and risked violating Mexican obligations beneath the U.S.-Mexico-Canada commerce settlement, native media reported.

Even when the invoice fails to realize traction, Mr. López Obrador’s push to dismantle power adjustments that opened up the nation to non-public funding throughout the earlier administration might have an enduring influence on Mexico’s financial system, analysts mentioned.

“The personal sector and international buyers are involved by the circumstances for funding, or the authorized uncertainty in Mexico,” Mr. Garza mentioned. “Buyers are considering of leaving the nation, or to a minimum of cease investing any additional, which is a essential aspect for financial progress.”



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