The President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, recognized this Friday the contamination generated by the six refineries of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), but maintained its plan to increase its processing capacity.
"About the refineries, we are in a program to rehabilitate them. Well how can they not contaminate, if these irresponsible corrupt left them almost turned into junk?"the president argued in his morning press conference.
Environmental organizations informed Efe this week that, despite the confinement, the high emissions of gases such as sulfur dioxide (SO2) and the burning of fuel oil have increased pollution in the metropolitan area of the Valley of Mexico, a threat to the health of 22 million inhabitants.
The contamination, they assured, comes from a thermoelectric plant and refinery located in the city of Tula, in the central state of Hidalgo, which is among the 500 most polluting companies in Mexico, the United States and Canada.
López Obrador accused his predecessors of the "neoliberal period" of invest USD 8,000 million in the Minatitlán, Cadereyta and Madero refineries, but without solving the problem.
He also blamed them for the inefficiency of the other three, that of Salina Cruz, Salamanca and Tula.
"There was a lot of stealing, now we are modernizing the refineries and, of course, they are not going to pollute, and we are increasing its refining capacity of the six plants ", he asserted.
And he took the opportunity to defend his refining plan.
"We are going to process an average of 750,000 barrels a day this year and from next year 1,200,000 barrels a day in these refineries, but there is no corruption, "he said.
Despite the international oil crisis, the president has insisted on his promise that "all crude oil is refined in Mexico"by 2023.
For it, has offered an investment of 20,000 million pesos (USD 870 million) to rehabilitate Pemex's six existing refineries.
That would add to the investment close to USD 8,000 million projected by the Government to build the new Dos Bocas refinery in the southeastern state of Tabasco.
López Obrador's energy policy has confronted him with environmental groups, who denounce that the government plans to use fuel oil, a heavier and more polluting residual oil product, for the plants of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).
As proof of this, they point to the electricity agreement that the Ministry of Energy (Sener) published a week ago to limit private generation of renewable energy.
López Obrador has defended his criteria of prioritize CFE over private.
In addition, this Friday he questioned a monitoring of the National Administration of Aeronautics and Space (NASA, for its acronym in English) of the United States, which It shows that five of the six Pemex refineries are among the 25 most polluting in the world.
"The NASA. And why didn't they say anything earlier? They were on the moon, then ”he joked.
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