Clean Energy Scores Big Win in Fight Against Mexico Crackdown

Mexico’s attempt to limit the growth of clean energy suffered its biggest blow yet Wednesday when a judge suspended rules that critics say favor fossil-fuel plants run by the state-owned utility.

The ruling by a federal judge prohibits the government from enforcing the regulations implemented by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador until a lawsuit challenging them is resolved. The government can appeal the decision.

The fight over the rules, announced in early May, is the latest in a worsening clash between Mexico’s business elite and its populist president. The measures would have delayed testing for new wind and solar farms and given the nation’s grid regulator more authority to reject projects. Critics including Mexico’s antitrust agency and clean-power advocates said they unfairly prop up the state utility, Comision Federal de Electricidad.

“With this decision, the human right to health and a healthy environment, sustainability and legality, are guaranteed,” said Maria Colin, an attorney for Greenpeace Mexico, which filed the law suit. “It restores rights that have been violated.”

The energy ministry is considering its legal options, a spokesperson said. The judge’s ruling does not apply to a proposal to hike energy transmission costs for competitors of Comision Federal de Electricidad, known as CFE .

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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