Mexico Presidential Nominee Says She Won’t Privatize Pemex

(Bloomberg) -- Mexican opposition presidential candidate Xochitl Galvez said she doesn’t plan to privatize the state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, contradicting recent comments by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

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Galvez said she also won’t privatize the utility Comision Federal de Electricidad. Her plan is to modernize both companies and protect the planet with the use of “cheap, clean and efficient energy.”

“Pemex isn’t going to be privatized, it’s going to be modernized, President. Stop lying,” Galvez said in a video posted on X, the platform previously known as Twitter.

AMLO, as the Mexican president is known, said Galvez will privatize Pemex and blasted her business-friendly proposals for the energy sector. “I don’t believe in privatizing Pemex or the energy industry. That model of privatization was a synonym of corruption,” he said during a press conference on Friday.

Galvez told Bloomberg News in an interview Thursday that if elected, she would undertake a sweeping reform of Pemex, opening the energy sector to private investment and supercharging renewables. While she didn’t commit to privatizing the highly-indebted company, she said a model like Brazil’s Petrobras, which is publicly traded despite being government-controlled, could work for the Mexican producer.

Read More: Mexico Presidential Contender Wants Sweeping Energy Reforms

Galvez said Pemex can take advantage of the capacity of its engineers to obtain energy from natural resources such as white or green hydrogen, as well as implement carbon capture. AMLO’s administration has been characterized by a nationalist energy policy and preference for fossil fuel over cleaner energy.

“Pemex doesn’t have enough resources and technology for exploration, they extract little oil and are losing millions in refining,” Galvez said. “Furthermore, they are not betting enough on petrochemicals.”

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