For Mexico’s president, the future isn’t renewable energy — it’s coal

From The Los Angeles Times

It appears to have pained the writers at the LA times to write this piece. Emphasis mine.

The president has halted new renewable projects, mocked wind farms as “fans” that blight the landscape, and poured money into state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, including $9 billion for construction of a new refinery. Last month, he pushed legislation that requires that the energy grid first take power from state-run plants — fueled in large part by crude oil and coal — before less expensive wind and solar energy.

While admitting environmentalists are upset the writers try and cut him some slack as not just some evil denier.

López Obrador’s devotion to fossil fuels and rejection of cleaner energy at a time when most nations are moving in the opposite direction has dismayed environmentalists, who warn that Mexico will be unable to meet its emission reduction commitments under the Paris climate agreement, as well as business leaders, who warn that energy costs will rise because coal and gas cost about twice as much as wind and solar.

Experts say his policies are rooted less in climate change denialism and more in nationalism and nostalgia.ADVERTISEMENT

A populist, López Obrador is playing on Mexico’s proud history as a fossil fuel powerhouse.

He grew up in the oil-rich Tabasco state in the decades after President Lázaro Cárdenas expropriated the assets of foreign energy companies operating in Mexico and nationalized the country’s oil reserves and mineral wealth. For decades, the state-owned oil company, known as Pemex, was a main driver of Mexico’s economy.

It remained part of national lore even as mismanagement and an aging infrastructure eventually eroded the country’s position as a top oil producer.

Heh “experts say” ^

It looks as if Obrador is working on behalf of Mexican prosperity and nationalism. We can’t have that.

Lisa Viscidi, an energy expert at the U.S.-based think tank Inter-American Dialogue, said the president’s goal is to “return their monopolies” by bringing the energy sector under state control — even if that means promoting dirtier fossil fuels and contributing more carbon emissions.

“All of these things have been sacrificed for the goal of energy sovereignty,” she said.

Dozens of renewable energy companies have filed lawsuits to halt the changes, which they say unfairly push them out. With many of his policies in legal limbo, López Obrador has said he may introduce a constitutional amendment to achieve his goals.

Mexico’s president appears to be capable of standing firm in the face of Big Green.

But the president seems to relish his role as a climate pariah. He has dismissed concerns about the environmental impacts of his plans as “sophistry” from his political opponents and the nation’s elite.

“Since when are conservatives concerned about the environment?” he said in January at one of his daily news conferences. “They have seized the flag of clean energy in the same way they seized the flag of feminism or human rights.”

Speaking last fall at the reactivation of a coal plant in northern Coahuila, he lashed out at several dozen U.S. lawmakers who had published a letter criticizing his energy policies for favoring Mexico’s state companies.

“I am very happy to be here … to tell those who defend neoliberal policy that we are not going to retreat one step,” he said.

His cause was unexpectedly boosted in February, when a winter storm knocked out power in Texas. The state’s governor barred natural gas exports, leaving more than 4 million people without electricity in Mexico, which relies heavily on natural gas from the U.S.

López Obrador said it was a clear signal: “We must produce.”

Full article is here, paywalled. I used a “Private Window and slipped through.

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Tom Halla
April 13, 2021 6:09 am

AMLO actually wants reliable power supplies? He is not acting like the leftist he was portrayed as being.

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 13, 2021 6:59 am

He’s a leftist alright, state-owned Pemex and Commission Federal de Electricidad have very powerful unions.

Coach Springer
April 13, 2021 6:12 am

Sounds like the LA Times wants a new President of Mexico – for “less expensive wind and solar energy.”

Funny how not putting wind and solar energy at full competitive advantage is unforgivably unfair.

Reply to  Coach Springer
April 13, 2021 12:36 pm

The opportunities for El Chapo and the Mexican drug cartels are immense here. The next time they dig a tunnel across the border, they could have it carry a high voltage transmission line, and flood the United States with dirt cheap electricity!

Reply to  Anon
April 14, 2021 4:07 am

And gasoline pipelines, selling dirt cheap gas would bring in yuge amounts of pesos!

Andre Lauzon
April 13, 2021 6:25 am

I hope he starts a trend…………Please God.

April 13, 2021 6:41 am

The LAT writer seems to think that EPA and CARB-manipulated costs for coal power extend across the border into Mexico. That probably works with most LAT readers too. No thinking required.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
April 13, 2021 8:35 am

Well those LAT(Laughing At Them) writers are using Common Core “math”. You know the math that requires no critical thinking skills.

I have many concurrent thoughts here…

Happy to see at one New World leader choose for energy independence.

Hopefully, this will raise the quality of life to some degree, a company or two will move manufacturing out of China.

About a 100 years ago Mexico nationalized its fossil fuel deposits due to a move to Socialism/Marxism and lead to an economic disaster from which they have never recovered. Hopefully we not seeing history repeat itself.

Reply to  JEHILL
April 13, 2021 12:40 pm

JEHILL, at least common core math taught addition and subtraction. But you must understand that common core has been replaced in California by woke math where “feelings” dominate and there is no correct answer and you don’t need to show your work.

April 13, 2021 6:45 am

AMLO wants a new refinery built in his home state while two other Pemex refineries run below capacity. Behind all the labels, AMLO is another in a long line of Mexican presidents thinking past his time in office. Green labels aren’t in his plan.

Don Thompson
Reply to  ResourceGuy
April 13, 2021 7:27 am

I think the problem is that he is likely headed in the direction of Venezuela where state expropriation led to a collapse of a major industry that funded most of that country. State run businesses tend to operate based on non-market principles and eventually starve the golden goose. Not a certainty, but it has occurred more often than not.

Reply to  Don Thompson
April 13, 2021 7:39 am

That has certainly been happening, just look at the decrepit condition of Mexico’s refining and pipeline systems. Putting an emphasis on building new and upgrading existing structure is a positive and not what happened in Venezuela.

Reply to  Don Thompson
April 14, 2021 5:47 am

Right idea / wrong timing. Mexico expropriated in 1938 all foreign owned petroleum assets. They have been grossly mismanaged ever since. Crude oil eserves peaked around 1980, and then plunged from 1996 to 2004. Crude output plunged about 40% after 2004. PEMEX eventually accepted the fact it had to hire FOREIGN exploration firms to find & develop oil & gas fields.

willem post
April 13, 2021 7:06 am

His cause was unexpectedly boosted in February, when a winter storm knocked out power in Texas. The state’s governor barred natural gas exports, leaving more than 4 million people without electricity in Mexico, which relies heavily on natural gas from the U.S.

That is the best sentence of the whole article.

During a Texas cold spell, lasting several days, the land does not heat up, there are no ONSHORE breezes from the Gulf, and any shore-side wind turbines would produce only a piddling quantity of electricity. Anyone can figure that out.

Regarding INLAND wind turbines, wind output was about 9,000 MW, from an installed capacity of 30,904 MW (about 15,000 wind turbines); the capacity factor was 9000/30904 = 0.29.

The output decreased to about 1,000 MW about one day later, an 89% reduction (largely due to freeze ups of 12,000 MW of capacity (per ERCOT, the grid operator), i.e., about 12000/30904 x 15000 = 5,825 wind turbines, or 5825/15000 = 39% of all wind turbines.

Then output increased to about 4,000 MW for about a day, then decreased to about 1,000 MW, etc., due to wind-velocity variations, i.e., bouncing around at a low level, due to a lack of wind.

The relatively few wind turbines on the Texas Gulf Coast were unaffected by the snow storm, and performed, as usual during cold spells, i.e., a piddling quantity of electricity.

“Wind works well in Texas, because it’s cheap”.

When the wind blows, other sources of power are forced to vary their outputs to counteract the variations of wind (and solar), 24/7/365.

This mode of operation causes increases in: 1) wear-and-tear, and 2) Btu/kWh, and 3) CO2/kWh, and 4) c/kWh, and 5) less kWh is being sold, plus 6) requires grid augmentation/expansion, of which costs are shifted to ratepayers and taxpayers, and added to government debts, plus 7) traditional generating plants are forced to act as back-up/babysitters for wind (and solar), 24/7/365.

Wind only looks cheap because it is able to force most of its costs onto others.

The turnkey cost of a wind plant/MW is greater than for natural gas, and the capacity factor of wind plants is much less than gas plants. 
People, who need steady work, and steady electricity, for a living, probably think gas is the overall “cheaper” way to go.

NOTE: Wind turbines, whether producing or not, require electricity for self-use, i.e., each of those frozen wind turbines and all operating wind turbines would demand 30 to 60 kW from the grid, 24/7, for self-use, where ever the electricity would be available. See explanation in this URL

Warren Buffett Quote: “I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate,” Buffet told an audience in Omaha, Nebraska recently. “For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”

Reply to  willem post
April 13, 2021 7:28 am

Its hard to call wind a green energy initiative with its ecological impact of noise and killing birds as well as the possibility that increased deployment of it will cause global warming,

Reply to  willem post
April 13, 2021 10:29 am

Isn’t that immoral Uncle Warren? Uncle Warren owns a lot of Coke….a very “woke” business….how many more like Coke? Uncle Warren endorsed Hitlery Clinton for prez. Uncle Warren and Billy Gates and Munger visited China some years ago…the CCP is fully equivalent to the nazi party but Uncle Warren apparently dosesn’t care.

Reply to  willem post
April 13, 2021 11:17 am

A study done on Vietnam’s energy grid showed JUST HOW EXPENSIVE it is to implement Variable Renewable Energy (VRE) into a grid situation.

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And there are other costs not included in that accounting

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David A
Reply to  willem post
April 14, 2021 3:48 pm

“Wind only looks cheap because it is able to force most of its costs onto others.”

yep, the biggest subsidy of all, hidden in generation – use mandates.

Tony Sullivan
April 13, 2021 7:27 am

 before less expensive wind and solar energy”

Perhaps the LA Times can explain – in detail – exactly how wind and solar are less expensive.

Reply to  Tony Sullivan
April 13, 2021 8:25 am

who warn that energy costs will rise because coal and gas cost about twice as much as wind and solar.

It is really getting to the point where the US mainstream media is just feel-good progressive p_rn. You read the LA Times to feel good about what you are doing, meanwhile, on the other side of town:

High electricity cost drives German high-tech industry to Asia

Siltronic, one of the world’s leading chip makers, is moving Germany’s top high-tech company to Asia. Siltronic boss Christoph von Plotho blames Germany’s high energy costs for the decision: “The high electricity price makes the location unattractive,” he said in an interview with the Handelsblatt. His company pays “less than half the electricity price” in Singapore.

Sweden Wrestles With Power Shortage As Cold Weather Hampers Supply

On Friday, the Holmen forestry company closed down large parts of its paper mills in Braviken and Hallstavik due to the high electricity price. “We are watching the market with our hands on the handbrake. And if the calculation doesn’t add up, we have to close. This week, we operated at half speed,” said Holmen CEO Henrik Sjölund. … said de Maré, who also believes that the higher electricity price is good for the environment, as it leads to industries shutting down and people halting their vacuuming habits at certain times.

Reply to  Tony Sullivan
April 13, 2021 8:59 am

Oh but the problem is that they are less expensive a lot of the time.

They are less expensive when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining and there’s an over supply.

We had a recent WUWT story about a German wind farm that was being dismantled and not replaced. Why? Because of an over supply when the wind was blowing, the wind farm was earning less than a cent per kWh.

If there’s a properly functioning market, wind and solar can’t compete even if they are often cheaper.

So, if I’m going to quibble with your statement, it’s not how wind and solar are less expensive, it’s when they are less expensive. We now have enough experience with renewable energy failures that people shouldn’t be unaware of the difference.

Even if renewables are sometimes cheaper, making the blanket statement that they are cheaper is really a lie, isn’t it.

Reply to  commieBob
April 13, 2021 10:19 am

“… it’s when they are less expensive …”

They are only less expensive ‘when’ the life cycle costs are neglected.

David A
Reply to  DonM
April 14, 2021 3:55 pm

..and when the generation mandates that greatly increase the cost of coal and NG are not considered, and their construction subsidies are ignored.

Reply to  Tony Sullivan
April 13, 2021 9:10 am

You install then near Griff and all the hot air powers them for free.

Flash Chemtrail
April 13, 2021 7:35 am

“Mexico will be unable to meet its emission reduction commitments under the Paris climate agreement”

Which countries are meeting their Paris emission reductions?

Reply to  Flash Chemtrail
April 13, 2021 10:16 am

all the commitments are non binding voluntary guesstimates of the future, so what difference does it make

April 13, 2021 7:41 am

Self serving or not this is a good sign.

John Robertson
April 13, 2021 8:19 am

Western Canada shall do the same,playing to the strengths of our natural resources and the cold reality of 8 months of winter.
As with Mexico,any state that uses uncommon sense,guaranteeing their citizens reliable affordable energy,will eventually be able to buy up their gullible and bankrupted neighbours.

Reality is never a good place to abandon.

The madness of Gang Green runs rampant through our cities,almost as if madness and gullibility are contagous.

Perhaps we need to fence our larger cities in?
The current ruling cliche in North America are all undermining the energy upon which our society is built,if only we could give them what they demand (for us).
Perhaps by dividing the USA and Canada into two,
The Energy Sane and The Carbon free,Renewable Energy Paradise..
So the believers can live the dream,unable to freeload from peoples less driven than themselves..

Mexico to Alaska would make a real fine backbone for a future nation,especially as ,short of a miracle,the coastal virtue signallers will be bankrupt in less than 3 generations,without the ability to steal from their neighbours.

Meaning the “lost lands” will return to the greater union,when they banish the insane .

April 13, 2021 8:34 am

Another right wing populist.

It will end in tears (See also: Trump, Bolsanaro, that man in charge of the Philippines)

Reply to  griff
April 13, 2021 9:47 am

Let me guess, you are left wing one, aren’t you ? 😀
The difference is, you don’t lead a country and haven’t to look for it’s prosperity.
Wet dreams are your goal 😀

Reply to  griff
April 13, 2021 10:00 am

And yet more lie spew from griffiepoo. Best part? You don’t believe any of the shyte you spew.

Climate believer
Reply to  griff
April 13, 2021 10:52 am

It will end in tears…” oh I know, terrible, much better off with a Maduro, Ortega, Castro, or that man in charge of North Korea.

If I had a dollar for every time Socialism worked I’d have $0…. coincidentally if it did work, I’d still have $0.

Reply to  griff
April 13, 2021 11:07 am


From Wikipedia: (

“Often described as a center-left progressive democrat”

Doesn’t sound like a “right winger” to me…

Reply to  ih_fan
April 13, 2021 1:20 pm

Right wingers are all not supporting his thoughts 😀

Reply to  griff
April 13, 2021 11:21 am

So much for your plaintive and pathetic pleas that you are not a FAR-LEFT cultist. !

Reply to  griff
April 13, 2021 12:44 pm

Griff, have you looked up the definition of “populist?” You appear to be using it as a pejorative. In a republic or democracy where ordinary citizens have rights and the power of the vote, “populist” is a badge of honor. Contrast this with urban hordes indentured and enslaved to their elitist masters, and elitist academics, “philanthropies,“ billionaires, globalists, tech giants and lunatic power-hungry leftist politicians.

“Populist- a person, especially a politician, who strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups.”

Reply to  griff
April 13, 2021 12:56 pm

Hey griff-tard

How’s that UK wind energy going, fool !!

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Reply to  griff
April 14, 2021 5:38 am

So no attempt to rebut the observation that windpower is an unmitigated and proven failure then?

Burgher King
April 13, 2021 8:41 am

Affordable energy is life blood for a growing economy. AMLO is a socialist, but he is not your typical leftist ideologue. He sees growing opportunity for Mexico as America’s economy suffers the consequences of having less affordable energy. He will put Mexico’s interests first and will capitalize on America’s retreat from rational energy policies.

April 13, 2021 9:01 am

For Mexico’s president, the future isn’t renewable energy — it’s coal

What a cheapskate.

April 13, 2021 9:30 am

LA Times – “…business leaders, who warn that energy costs will rise because coal and gas cost about twice as much as wind and solar.”

Gotta wonder, why is it that energy prices double or triple whenever a country invests heavily in those lower cost sources?

And if wind and solar are so much cheaper to produce, then it shouldn’t bother those producers since the profit margin would be so massively larger that they’d be laughing all the way to the bank.

LA Times can’t see the blatant contradictions in their statements???

Reply to  Art
April 13, 2021 11:06 am

It’s weird, but as Washington state keeps adding new wind turbines, my electric rates keep increasing. It’s almost like wind and solar power generation isn’t helping to reduce the actual cost of generation.

But the MSM keeps telling me that adding wind and solar capacity will reduce my rates. My eyes and bank account must be lying to me.

Reply to  Art
April 13, 2021 12:00 pm

“Business leaders” Which business leaders? Oh, leaders of bird chopper and frier businesses. The ones with the government milk mustaches. Cheats, swindlers and snake oil salesmen the lot of ‘em.

April 13, 2021 9:45 am

Will Mexico be building a wall to keep out energy-refugees and economic migrants from the USA searching for a better life?

April 13, 2021 9:58 am

…before less expensive wind and solar energy

Mexico offers government subsidies and tax credits for solar and wind installations too? Who knew?

Shoki Kaneda
April 13, 2021 10:30 am

The man is correct. His duty is to serve and protect the interests of Mexico and Mexican citizens. We had one like him in the US, but we all know what happened.

April 13, 2021 11:33 am

We are going to need some energy source if we are going to manufacture enough solar panels, windmills and batteries to replace fossil fuels and existing generating facilities.

Do the math. Over its 25 year lifetime, a solar panel in a good location produces enough power to create 2 new solar panels. Less as interest rates rise, due to the cost of capital to create the first panel.

That means it will take 12.5 years to double the number of existing solar panels, and 25 years to triple the number of panels, or we will have to increase CO2 emissions to create the panels. The same analysis hold true for wind.

That is the problem with Net Zero by 2050. There is no way to get to Net Zero without using fossil fuel energy to create a large enough base of “green energy” to replace the fossil fuels.

And this is what we saw in Germany. Trying to satisfy the Paris Accord will increase CO2 emissions globally.

John Pickens
Reply to  ferdberple
April 13, 2021 12:11 pm

I disagree with your analysis that a solar panel makes enough power to create 2 more solar panels. Show me a single manufacturer of solar panels which powers its manufacturing facility entirely with solar power. Must include the power requirements for silicon processing and silane gas production.

Prove me wrong, give me an example. If solar power were the boon to mankind it is claimed to be, it would be the logical choice for panel manufacturing. The fact that it is not being used for this application says volumes.

Reply to  John Pickens
April 13, 2021 6:20 pm

Pay attention to what Ferd said! He’s not praising solar panels by saying that best case, it would take all the power produced by a panel for 12 years to make another panel! That’s 100% of the output, with nothing left over, just to replace itself – and that’s best case. There’s no way a solar panel plant, much less a solar powered economy could ever work. China is increasing its coal use so much partly because of all the solar panels and turbines they make – watch the green econazis’ heads explode when they take that in.

Reply to  ferdberple
April 13, 2021 2:08 pm

Burning forest don’t count, the leaves were green. China did it once, not so long ago, clear cut every square foot of forest it could locate to provide power to develop manufacturing infrastructure. Europe is now on the same road, even if with less than such a single minded ideology.

Didn’t someone in congress forward a proposal to subsidize word burning stoves for heating U.S. homes? Wood for burning may be on its way as the next big thing. How many cubic yards of firewood would it take to produce a wind turbine?

Reply to  AndyHce
April 14, 2021 6:56 am

I’ve read a lot about wood-pellet heating being a big thing. I don’t think that they’ve considered the fuel requirements for doing that in bulk. Then again, given their complete lack of understanding of that sort of thing, that’s not surprising.

Reply to  TonyG
April 14, 2021 8:37 am

Pellet stoves require electricity to operate, once the power is out you lose heat, too. Go with a regular wood burner. If you get the chance to buy a bunch of pellets cheap grab them, you can use them along with wood.

Reply to  2hotel9
April 14, 2021 12:14 pm

No argument from me, just saying that’s what I’ve heard being pushed as the new “green” thing.

For myself, I don’t have to rely on electricity at all if that’s really a problem. I have a generator, but last extended outage I only ran it for about an hour a day to make sure the refrigerator and freezer stayed chilled.

Reply to  ferdberple
April 14, 2021 4:01 am

Solar panels don’t last 25 years, they don’t last 12 years. Add to that you would have to collect and store ALL the output from each one and use it solely for production of new ones. Solar, just like wind, is a losing proposition.

George V
April 13, 2021 12:21 pm

Perhaps the Mexican president is planning to export electrons to the US once it becomes energy starved by green policies.

Reply to  George V
April 13, 2021 1:18 pm

He’s got a pretty good market at the northwest border

April 13, 2021 12:35 pm

“…energy costs will rise because coal and gas cost about twice as much as wind and solar.”

Mexico’s electricity presently comes mostly from coal and gas so just how would rejecting wind and solar raise electricity prices? Of course we know that wind and solar cost more because of many factors perhaps the most expensive being the need for backup. The mini-brains at the Los Angeles Times seem only to accept levelized cost, which is inapplicable to a means of electricity production that cannot operate levelly. They seemingly refuse to recognize the full cost and thus continue to misinform their customers.

And this is journalism?

Reply to  DHR
April 13, 2021 6:24 pm

“levelized cost” is fake, political math, throw anything into the equation that makes reliable power more expensive (like the cost of traffic jams and all the pretend people who died from even mild pollution) and ignore all the rewards of cheap reliable portable readily-accessible fuel energy.

April 13, 2021 12:54 pm

I’m guessing that his government DOESN’T WANT TO PAY THE MASSIVE SUBSIDIES, that are required to keep wind industrial estates in the black..

April 13, 2021 4:03 pm

The heading:

For Mexico’s president, the future isn’t renewable energy — it’s coal

This is where the rot starts. Any reference to weather dependent power generation as “renewable” is misleading. Weather dependent generators will consume ALL human endeavour before they fulfil the energy needs for humans to prosper.

I am aware of only two renewable energy sources, they are hydroelectric and managed forests/crops. The latter is limited by suitable land with reliable water supply.

Anyhow Mexico currently has around 1.4bn tonnes of proven coal reserves. That places that resource in the healthy category and provides time for the development of new energy sources. I hear China has good deals on coal generators and considerable expertise – just make certain the scrubbing system meets stringent standards.

April 13, 2021 4:12 pm

This concept that most nations are embracing action on climate change rejecting fossil fuels for renewables is a total lie and cannot be reconciled no matter what interpretation is put on the word most.
If it is number of countries, the vast majority of countries who signed up for the Paris Agreement did so not to actually do something on climate change but to be recipients of the largesse and generosity of some larger nations. If for instance there are say 180 nations in the world probably 150 of those have zero commitment to exiting fossil fuels as an energy source.
If it’s by population the fact that both India and China with close to 50% of the worlds population are in practice doing nothing suggests that the world most does not relate to population.

The reality is that the most vocal advocates pressuring governments live in a handful of countries where climate change is an obsession of the political,media and academic institutions. In a global sense their representation is tiny which makes the difficulties we have with this issue in places like Australia even more frustrating.
in terms of sheer numbers globally sceptics would outnumber believers. In terms of noise there is no contest. Alarmists win by a mile.

April 13, 2021 7:16 pm

I don’t know if Mexico can impeach or remove their president in times of scandal and other issues but if they can, I wouldn’t be surprised if he soon experiences a scandal or other crisis/issue that will call for him to be impeached, removed, or resign.

Reply to  kramer
April 14, 2021 4:59 am

From past history anyone going after a Mexican President had best take him out in the first strike. They play by different rules and have little compunction about having such anklebiters killed.

Patrick MJD
April 13, 2021 10:00 pm

There is a large amount of coal used in making solar panels and other “green” ruinables.

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