Dirty and expensive gasoline returns to Mexico, experts warn

Mexico City (Karla Omaña) – Forced by a decision of the Court, the Energy regulatory commission (CRE) authorized a reduction of the content of ethanol as an oxygenator in gasoline, which means more polluting gasoline, experts warned.

As of March 19 throughout the country, the ethanol cap will be 5.8 percent. The Mexican Association for Sustainable Mobility has promoted the use of 10 percent ethanol in gasoline with the argument that, in addition to helping to reduce greenhouse gases, it develops the agricultural industry, especially sugarcane producers.

« The use of 10 percent ethanol would eliminate about 4 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere per year, » said Kenneth Smith, a former NAFTA negotiator, in an interview.

Freeing the use of ethanol in all the cities of the country would generate a very important demand that could be satisfied with the production of the Mexican countryside and increase the income of the sugarcane growers by up to 3.5 billion pesos, said Smith.

In June 2017, the amendment agreement to NOM-016 was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF), which increased the maximum volume allowed in premium and regular gasoline from 5.8 to 10 percent, except in metropolitan areas of the Valle de México, Guadalajara and Monterrey, where its use is prohibited.

But in January 2020 the Court reversed that rule due to the claim of an environmental group headed by former presidential candidate Gabriel Quadri, who affirms that ethanol is more polluting.

Therefore, as of March 19, the handling of gasoline with an ethanol content greater than 5.8 percent will be punishable.

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