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Four US senators sent a letter to the president’s administration Joe Biden to demand to stop the Mexican energy reform and promote greater cooperation between Mexico and the United States in clean energy in order to compete with China.

“Cooperation with Mexico in the development of clean energy, including the cultivation of critical minerals (sic), is essential to promote competition with China,” said the legislators, including Robert Menendez, president of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States Senate.

The letter was signed on January 18, addressed to Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, and Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of Energy, and is also signed by Senators Brian Schatz, Jeff Merkley and Tim Kaine.

“We write with concerns about the actions of the Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to undermine the development efforts of renewable energy of the private sector in Mexico in favor of state-owned fossil fuel industries and we urge the Biden administration to speak out more forcefully in support of renewable energy production that will benefit both countries,” they began in the letter.

The senators argued that in December, in line with AMLO’s efforts to hamper growth in the Mexico’s renewable energy sector, Mexico submitted a revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreementwoefully underperforming, committing only to reduce emissions by 22% and black carbon emissions by 51% by 2030.

Furthermore, according to them, it is likely that the Chamber of Deputies of Mexico vote in mid-April on a bill that would reverse the 2014 energy reform law that allowed private and foreign investment in Mexico’s energy sector and restore the dominance of the state Federal electricity commission (CFE) on the energy sector.

If enacted, they described that the Mexican government would cancel renewable energy permits, contracts and certificates; would eliminate federal energy regulatory agencies that provide checks and balances to state energy companies; there would be a guarantee that CFE controls at least 54% of the market; a reorganization of private and state energy production quotas to favor the production of fossil fuels; and establish the State as the sole implementer of the transition from clean energy from mexico.

“Perhaps more detrimental to the priorities of the Biden administration, this legislation would prohibit concessions to extract strategic minerals such as lithium and copper,” they added.

From his perspective, this policy would contradict the prohibition of new investment restrictions of the Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada (T-MEC) and would exacerbate national security concerns related to critical mineral shortages.

“It would also threaten at least $44 billion in private investment in Mexico’s energy sector, negatively impact US private sector investment in Mexico, and is antithetical to the historically strong US-Mexico economic relationship.” they said.

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