Local media are reporting this week that multiple requests for injunctions have been filed before Mexican courts to suspend the changes to NOM-016-CRE-2016, which regulates gasoline quality in the country. As we posted last month, Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) updated the NOM in June to allow up to 10% ethanol content (E10) in automotive gasoline, provoking high fives in the ethanol industry and rending of garments among environmental groups. Apparently the latest injunction request was filed by Gabriel Quadri – environmental consultant, erstwhile presidential candidate and ajonjolí de todos los moles medioambientales – who noted that other individuals and civil society organizations also have filed injunction requests (other sources cited the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (Cemda) and Consumer Power (EPC) as having filed prior injunction requests). Quadri’s legal filing demands specifically that national oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and other oil companies be prohibited from selling ethanol-blended fuel in the country, according to the reports in multiple media.
As per local custom, details on the whole affair are fuzzier than a baby hedgehog. The reports say a response from Mexico City’s Administrative Tribunal is expected next week, but we will not be holding our breath on that one. Nonetheless, considering that the CRE requested and received an exemption to the requirement of submitting a Regulatory Impact Statement (MIR) from the Federal Regulatory Improvement Commission (Cofemer) in order to increase the permitted ethanol content, one would think there could be grounds for granting the injunction. Quadri and other injunction-seekers are calling for a systematic process of scientific and technical analysis of the environmental and health impacts of E10 gas before any changes are approved to the NOM. We will continue to report on this topic as further information becomes available.
Driven by a desire to stimulate employment and the internal market, as well as to scale the World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” rankings, the Mexican government approved a package of reforms in December 2011 aimed at facilitating the creation of new businesses. The modifications, which affect laws such as the Foreign Investment Law, the General Law of Mercantile Societies, the Public Administration Law and others, are intended to reduce the time, cost and aggravation of registering a new company. Some of the changes entered into effect as of January 1, 2012, and others will become operational as of June of this year.
Taken as a package, the reforms seek to concentrate the required procedures for forming a business within the Economy Ministry (SE), instead of having them distributed throughout various government agencies, each with their own offices, forms, procedures and fees. The official reform decree also calls upon the SE to coordinate the harmonization of procedures across agencies and incorporate the overall process into a unified digital registration system, via the web portal www.tuempresa.gob.mx. Examples of the regulatory modifications include:
• Reduction of obligatory response time for new business approval applications
• Elimination of fixed amount of initial share capital
• Elimination of various fees from new business application process
• Removal of requirement to establish a fixed duration for registered companies
On the heels of its recently concluded year-long presidency of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP16), Mexico is soldiering on with its sustainability policy blitz. In late November, the Federal Regulatory Improvement Commission (Cofemer) issued its approval of proposed new regulations under which independent entities generating power from renewable sources may connect to the national electricity grid. Last year, we reported with great satisfaction that the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) had created a contract that allowed independent producers of energy for their own consumption to connect to the grid via a net metering system. The new regulatory document, under the nimble title “General Rules of Interconnection to the National Electric System for Generators or Permit-holders with Renewable Energy Sources or Efficient Cogeneration,” is intended to streamline the process and lower the overall cost of grid integration for independent producers. The administrative, legal and technical requirements, formerly distributed among various prior documents published by different agencies, will now be incorporated into the single regulatory document. The Energy Ministry (Sener) may now publish the new regulations in the Official Gazette, with the hope that facilitating the process will hasten the contribution of new and more environmentally friendly generating plants to the country’s energy supply. If you feel you must, you can read the Cofemer’s final opinion on the new regulations here (oh go on, we did). Continue reading Mexico pouring on the green energy initiatives→