Mexico's next energy minister under president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said that the new administration's energy agenda will be to increase domestic gas and diesel production and reduce dependency on foreign imports.
Rocio Nahle, appointed by AMLO for the energy ministry, said in an interview with a local paper that AMLO's government will address the “energy imbalance” that makes it dependent on foreign imports to meet national demand.
AMLO has previously made pledges along this line during and after the election, saying that ending the massive fuel imports would be a priority for his first three years.
Mexico has imported an average of 590,000 barrels per day of gasoline and 232,000 per day of diesel, almost all of which comes from the United States. While the United States profits on gas sales to its neighbor, Mexico's domestic production has decreased by half since the first year of outgoing President Enrique Peña Nieto's term.
Today, gasoline output by Mexican state oil company Pemex meets less than a quarter of national demand, putting Mexico's energy system in a situation of deep dependence on the United States.
During the election campaign, Lopez Obrador was sharply critical of the Pena Nieto's policy to allow foreign and private oil companies to operate fields on their own for the first time in decades, ending Pemex's monopoly.
Nahle said the next government will also begin construction of at least one new oil refinery, which she expects to be operating by the halfway point of Lopez Obrador's six-year term.
AMLO also outlined several legislative priorities on Wednesday, particularly ending presidential legal immunity, and slashing the presidential salary.
The incoming administration would also put forward a law to remove obstacles to holding public consultations, as well as create a mechanism for recalling the president, he said.
Lopez Obrador said during the campaign he could hold public consultations on issues ranging from the government’s opening of the energy sector, the construction of Mexico City’s new airport, gay marriage and even his performance as president.