Mexican Congress Rejects Energy Industry Overhaul, Set to Nationalize Lithium

    Image copyright: Reuters [via Wall Street Journal]

    The Facts

    • Mexican Pres. Andrés Manuel López Obrador declared on Tues. that all lithium contracts would be reviewed, after the lower house of Congress passed an amendment to mining legislation that paves the way for the state to nationalize its lithium reserves.

    • The new legislation, approved on Mon., will ban all private participation in the exploration and mining of lithium, which elevates it to a "strategic mineral," if approved also by the Senate.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    AMLO's energy reforms are central to his platform, but they would be disastrous for Mexico on many levels. If approved, they would aggravate relations with the US and threaten foreign investment, as Mexico would be breaching its contracts. Furthermore, this would damage Mexico's climate change goal to produce 35% of electricity from clean sources.

    Narrative B

    AMLO is promoting reforms that will modernize national energy plants, reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and boost national development. Lawmakers have betrayed Mexico's national interest by defending foreign companies who exploit and plunder the country's precious resources.

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