Quantcast
Energy
Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Agencia de Noticias ANDES

Newly Elected President of Mexico to Ban Fracking

Mexico's president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he will end the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, once he enters office on Dec. 1.

"We will no longer use that method to extract petroleum," the populist politician said Tuesday at a press conference, as quoted by the Associated Press.


This is a setback for the energy industry that has eyed Mexico's shale-rich Burgos Basin in the north, DeSmog reported. It was only less than a year ago when Mexico's national energy ministry opened the onshore portion of the Burgos Basin for natural gas exploration and development by private companies.

The horizontal drilling technique is used to unlock oil and natural gas deposits from shale beds. Fracking has significantly ramped up natural gas extraction and has aided local economies, but opponents say that fracking pollutes the air and groundwater, among other environmental and public health concerns. The technique has been banned in many U.S. municipalities and countries around the world.

The "plan to ban fracking in Mexico represents the latest common-sense decision by a world leader to prohibit this inherently toxic, polluting practice," Food & Water Watch executive director Wenonah Hauter told DeSmog.

"President-elect Obrador is moving in the right direction on many issues, including energy and the environment," Hauter added. "He can move even farther by pledging to transition Mexico to a fully clean, renewable energy future, thereby setting a remarkable example for its neighbors to the north."

According to the AP, Lopez Obrador also spoke against private electricity generation contracts that have displaced the state-owned Federal Electricity Commission, or CFE.

"The neoliberal governments deliberately closed the CFE plants in order to buy electricity from foreign companies at very high prices," Lopez Obrador said. "All of that will be corrected."

Thomas Tunstall, Research Director for the University of Texas at San Antonio's Institute of Economic Development, pointed out to DeSmog that Mexico's potential fracking ban is mostly symbolic.

"Near-term, a ban on hydraulic fracturing in Mexico would have no impact, economically or environmentally. Unlike the United States, Mexico has substantial untapped conventional oil and gas reserves: shallow water, deep water and even onshore conventional," Tunstall said. "In addition, most of the unconventional/shale opportunities lie in Northern Mexico, which lacks significant infrastructure (housing, roads, rail, skilled workforce). Best estimates are that any unconventional oil and gas production activity in Mexico is at least 5-10 years away, no matter what government policy is."

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Insights
A healthy vegan snack board of fruit, vegetables, dips, nuts and olives. Enrique Díaz / 7cero / Getty Images

Changing the Main Course of Climate Change

By Chloë Waterman

As the Trump administration's dangerous deregulatory agenda leads us closer to climate catastrophe, cities, counties and businesses are stepping up to address the crisis. Last month, Gov. Jerry Brown and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg released their "Fulfilling America's Pledge" plan, laying out the top climate strategies for subnational governments and businesses, at the Global Climate Action Summit.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
The aftermath of flooding and landslides in North Sumatra in Indonesia. AGUS SALIM / AFP / Getty Images

At Least 27 Dead as Landslides Strike Indonesia, Including Village School

Another tragedy struck Indonesia Friday when heavy rains triggered flash flooding and mudslides that killed at least 27 in Sumatra, ABC reported.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
A satellite image of Hurricane Leslie as it approached Portugal. NOAA Satellites

27 Injured, 300,000 Without Power as Leslie Becomes Strongest Storm to Hit Iberian Peninsula Since 1842

Leslie became the rare named Atlantic tropical system to hit Europe late Saturday when it rammed into Portugal as a post-tropical cyclone, injuring 27 and leaving more than 300,000 without power, The Associated Press reported Sunday.

Leslie had been downgraded from a Category One hurricane before making landfall, but it still lashed Portugal with hurricane-force winds. The seaside town of Figueira da Foz recorded wind speeds of 105 miles per hour.

Keep reading... Show less
Food
Pexels

5 Ways to Green Your Halloween

By Clara Chaisson

If you're into the spooky side of Halloween, there are plenty of fun ways to get your fear fix—going to a haunted house, slathering on fake blood or taking in the latest horror flick. But not even the most adventurous fright fans want to be scared about their family's health or the planet's come Oct. 31. That's not fun-scary, that's just plain old scary.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Animals
An Ecuadoran ornithologist with rare images of the blue-throated hillstar. Rodrigo Buendia / AFP / Getty Images

These Newly Discovered Hummingbirds Can Survive High in the Andes—but Habitat Destruction Is Creeping Up on Them

By Jason Bittel

Somehow the striking blue-throated hillstar, a hummingbird with an emerald-feathered head and sapphire splash across its neck, managed to elude us for a very long time. Scientists just recently discovered Oreotrochilus cyanolaemus, describing the species for the first time in The Auk: Ornithological Advances.

Keep reading... Show less
Food
Natalia Bulatova

8 Indoor Crops for Winter Gardening

By Brian Barth

Winter is coming. But don't go putting your gardening gloves away just yet.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Animals
Jason Riedy / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Vandals Kill Tens of Thousands of Honeybees in Iowa

A farmer in Iowa lost tens of thousands of honeybees and after vandals destroyed several hives on two separate occasions.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Grateful Acres Farm northeast of Des Moines said it found three of its strongest hives smashed by logs, bricks and cinder blocks. Each hive can hold up to 60,000 insects, the Des Moines Register reported.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Del Mar, a beach city in San Diego. atramos / CC BY 2.0

Top 10 Greenest Cities in America

San Diegans, pat yourselves on the back. Your city was ranked as 2018's "greenest city" in the U.S., beating out perennially crunchy San Franciscans by less than a point, according to WalletHub's calculations.

In a report released this week, the personal finance website compared the 100 most populated U.S. cities across 26 key "green" indicators, from greenhouse gas emissions per capita to share of electricity from renewable sources. Even the number of farmers markets and green job opportunities were considered.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!