Energy reform bill

The Energy Reform bill is going through government right now and there are all sorts of demonstrations against it. It is a very emotional subject. It has at its roots the oil company Pemex, which for over 70 years has “belonged” to the Mexican people. This was an idea that took hold when the foreign companies that helped to give birth to the Mexican oil industry were all thrown out of the country back in 1938 when the then President Lazaro Cardenas nationalised the oil industry, in the name of the “people”. This new reform is destined to open the industry up to foreign investment again and people on the left are dead against it. The PRD party has mobilised people and they have closed the Senate building today, in an attempt to stop the passage of the bill. Needless to say the deputies and senators just move their business elsewhere and get on with it.

Basically the reform will increase oil production thanks to greater investment. It also means that fracking will go full steam ahead to get to the large amounts of natural gas which are beneath our feet. In addition, open-mining specialist companies – mostly Canadian – will have carte blanche to open up large swathes of countryside. Both the fracking and minina will lead to destruction of ecosystems, the poisoning of water tables, the death of the countryside as it is known today, the destruction of agricultural land and the poisoning of animals, and countless other awful things. It’s already happening in the States, in the UK, in my back yard and in other countries. There have been endless demonstrations against it here in Morelos and the governor has washed his hands of the issue, blaming the previous governor for having sold the land to these companies. It’s a dire situation and no one really cares enough to do anything about it.

The government has little tiny signs in the Pemex petrol stations that say we will all be paying less for electricity thanks to the reform, but that’s all it says, not a word of all the awful negative stuff. Naturally. Since everyone is really hard up at the moment, and I am really feeling it too, the saving in electricity is supposed to be the big panacea to all our problems.

Meanwhile, a million and a half faithful Mexican pilgrims are arriving by foot, on their knees, on bicycles, or on other forms of transport to the Basilica in Mexico City, in time to celebrate the Virgin of Guadalupe, whose day it is tomorrow


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