Mexico and South America Must Tap Fossil Fuels to Fight Poverty

    Despite intense news coverage of issues surrounding the U.S. southern border, it is rare to see headlines about the energy policy of Mexico and the rest of Latin America. Nonetheless, much as in other regions, energy is a major concern inextricably tied to economic well-being.

    Poverty remains pervasive in Mexico and various countries to its south. Hunger, malnutrition, poor health, lack of education and limited access to basic services are the symptoms of destitution challenging millions of lives.

    Hence, it would be disastrous for these countries to adopt policies disruptive to their economy.  This is why many of them are being careful about falling into the trap of the global net zero agenda being promoted as a way to avert a fabricated climate emergency.

    Regardless of pressures from international leaders to join the campaign to “decarbonize,” overcoming poverty with economic growth powered by fossil fuels is taking precedence in these countries.

    Mexico’s Pragmatic Approach De-emphasizes Renewables

    Mexico, for instance, has made bold decisions about the its position on decarbonization. Eight-nine percent of all primary energy consumed in Mexico comes from fossil fuels. Mexico’s current administration understands the serious problems that intermittent wind and solar could pose to the growing economy of the country.

    This is why it has approved a bill to reverse existing laws that require the prioritization of renewable energy. The bill would require the power grid to receive its primary electricity supply from state-owned plants that mostly run on fossil fuels.

    The two main state energy companies, Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), are viewed as criticial to meeting Mexico’s economic ambitions.

    “We need to strengthen Pemex and the CFE, we need to rescue them, because deliberate moves have been taken to destroy them, so that the energy market could be left in the hands of private, national and above all foreign companies,” Mexican President López Obrador said in February 2021.

    The online news outlet Equal Times reported that the president had “launched a crusade against private companies in the renewables sector, which he accuses of making millions in profits, in cahoots with previous governments, at the expense of” Pemex and CFE.

    Seventy-five percent of the country’s electricity already comes from fossil fuels, and Obrador’s approach almost certainly ensures that this percentage does not change drastically.

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration (USEIA) forecasts that Mexico’s oil production is set for a revival: “Recently, increasing private investment and rising condensate production helped reverse a downward trend in Mexico’s oil production that began in 2004. In 2022, Mexico’s oil production was nearly two million barrels per day (b/d), similar to levels since 2019. As of the March 2023 Short-Term Energy Outlook, we forecast that Mexico’s petroleum and other liquids production will average 1.93 million b/d in 2023 and 1.91 million b/d in 2024.”

    “Mexico will almost certainly fail to meet its pledge to the world to reduce its carbon output,” according to analysts.

    Brazil and Peru Need to Utilize Fossil Reserves to Move Forward

    Like Mexico, countries in South America hope to utilize fossil fuels to propel their economies forward. Brazil is the largest by population on the continent and also the largest oil producer.

    The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts Brazil will “become responsible for the production of about 50 percent of the world’s offshore oil in 2040, or about 5.2 million b/d.

    Brazil’s western neighbor, Peru, is predicted to be among the three fastest-growing economies in South America in the next few years. In 2021, fossil fuels accounted for nearly 72 percent of the primary energy consumption in Peru.

    But still the country is in the primitive stages of energy consumption, ranked at a dismal 116th position for per capita primary energy consumption. If the country were to meet the growing energy demand in the coming years, it needs to ramp up its energy production.

    According to USEIA, the country is the “seventh-largest crude oil reserve holder in Central and South America, with 741 million barrels of estimated proved reserves, as of January 2015.”  Earlier this year, in an effort to boost reserves, the state petroleum agency offered areas for oil and gas exploration through negotiations and 31 technical contracts.

    In the frenzied world of net zero and green energy obsessions, it is not easy for aspiring young economies to remain committed to their use of fossil fuels, which to this day remain the bedrock of economic progress. But they must.

    This commentary was first published at American Thinker, June 8, 2023, and can be accessed here.

    Vijay Jayaraj is a Research Associate at the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, Virginia. He holds a master’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of East Anglia, UK and resides in India.

    4.6 11 votes
    Article Rating
    Newest Most Voted
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments
    June 10, 2023 10:10 am

    The U.S. reminds me more of Mexico every day.

    Reply to  Scissor
    June 10, 2023 11:51 am

    That’s rather rude… about Mexico!

    More Soylent Green!
    Reply to  Scissor
    June 10, 2023 12:10 pm

    We’re getting there. we keep growing and empowering government, keep taking power away from the individual, lowering school standards. We can’t create enough cheap labor, though, and we have to import it. The goal seems to be to keep importing poor and undereducated people until we turn into a third-world country and people want to start leaving. That’s when the real wall goes up.

    Reply to  More Soylent Green!
    June 10, 2023 3:21 pm

    “….lowering school standards….”
    Its’s important that, if people are to live with the results of “Net Zero”, and working in the new carbon economy where you get paid for reporting their neighbour’s failure to recycle grass clippings and associated meaningless but economically incentivized activities ….students must not be capable of thinking for themselves, plus be groomed in managing their feelings.

    William Howard
    Reply to  Scissor
    June 10, 2023 1:35 pm

    Except Mexico has a much better energy policy

    abolition man
    Reply to  Scissor
    June 10, 2023 2:59 pm

    If the US wants to be more like Mexico they will have to gain control of their southern border, enact laws that prevent non-citizens from owning property and businesses; and, most importantly, the the Federales would have to throw their weight behind one political party, and stomp on the local and regional feds that are allied with the drug and slave cartels!

    Bucky Barkingham
    June 10, 2023 12:07 pm

    Perhaps poverty is pervasive south of the border because their elites want it like that.

    Richard Page
    Reply to  Bucky Barkingham
    June 11, 2023 10:44 am

    They do seem to and any government elected on a platform of a fairer distribution of wealth doesn’t stay that way before becoming just like the rest.

    June 10, 2023 12:15 pm

    Le Mans is on this weekend. For those of you who don’t know, it is the greatest motor race in the world and this is it’s 100th anniversary.

    How did the governing body of the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) choose to celebrate it?

    By banning intermediate weather tyres (they could almost be described as racings equivalent to road tyres which will deal with varying road conditions) allowing slicks and wet weather tyres only.

    They announced this was an environmental gesture so they didn’t transport rarely used tyres around the world to events.

    What happened?

    Within two or three hours of the race start, it rained on the Circuit de la Sarthe (what a surprise! NOT!), a 13.626 km (8.467 mile) long track which is, other than during the event, a public road. It just didn’t rain on all of it.

    Consequently drivers and teams had the choice of cars aquaplaning on the soaking wet parts of the track and racing on the dry parts of the track on slick tyres, or going to wet tyres which deal with the rain well but at speeds as high as 253 MPH tend to melt.

    Cars were literally pirouetting off the wet track, smashing into barriers and each other when they could have pitted for intermediate tyres, which are much safer for the drivers and spectators.

    The FIA considered their green credentials more important than drivers and spectators lives.

    Think this is all exaggeration?

    In 1955, 83 spectators, and French driver Pierre Levegh, were killed and nearly 180 spectators injured when Levegh’s Mercedes was launched into the packed grandstand, having collided with the rear of a much slower car.

    This had nothing to do with weather, but it demonstrates how dangerous motorsports can be.

    Of course many of the Hypercars in this weekends race, approaching speeds of 253 MPH, were running on ‘green’ synthetic fuel.

    So that’s all OK then.

    The shot attached was taken by a spectator milliseconds after Levegh’s car was launched into the crowd. I have no idea if the photographer survived.

    June 10, 2023 2:11 pm

    The US needs to build more fossil fuel and nuclear plants, rid the grid of all wind and solar then everything will be okay.

    abolition man
    Reply to  Bob
    June 10, 2023 3:08 pm

    Don’t forget that we need to dramatically increase our production of CO2 to help the poor starving plants, and possibly stave off the destruction of all life on Earth in the next few million years by reversing the continuing decline in the Gas of Life; especially during periods of expanding glaciation! It might even cause the Tropics to expand, and the temperate regions to widen and move towards the poles; but almost nobody’s looked at that very seriously yet!

    June 10, 2023 4:15 pm

    Energy isn’t the problem for poverty in Mexico and South America. The problem is corruption in government. Many of the leaders leave government far richer because they sell their power. In addition the people expect government handouts and if they don’t get them, they vote for somebody who will provide the handouts.
    They need to push industry and agriculture so the country is able to produce enough wealth so the government doesn’t need to inflate the currency to support the people. Yes you need reliable energy to do that but the lack of that isn’t where the problem currently is.
    I am not really saying we are superior to them because we seem to be headed down much the same path and this isn’t just recent. You don’t acquire a national debt of over 30 trillion overnight.

    Richard Page
    June 11, 2023 10:41 am

    Several South and Central American countries are interested in joining Brazil in the BRICS organisation – Argentina has already applied and Mexico, Uruguay, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela are interested in joining. Looks as though the ‘Organisation of American States’ has lost any appeal it may once have had.

    %d bloggers like this:
    Verified by MonsterInsights