Breathing in Mexico City is now like smoking six and a half cigarettes a day

5/15/2019 – Quartz

pollBy Zoe Schlanger

Dozens of wildfires have broken out in Mexico over the past week, sending plumes of smoke drifting far beyond the burn sites to blanket population centers, including Mexico City, home to 21 million people. Officials in Mexico City have declared a state of emergency and are urging people to stay indoors, as pollution levels soar far above what’s considered healthy for human exposure. Concentrations of PM2.5—tiny particulate matter produced during any combustion, like burning trees and plants during fires—reached 158 micrograms per cubic meter yesterday.

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Mexico declares victory over fuel thieves. But is it lasting?

5/5/2019 – The New York Times


By Kirk Semple

Soon after taking office in December, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador declared war on fuel theft, an enduring scourge that had been costing the nation billions of dollars a year.

Thieves had launched a particularly damaging attack, draining 1.5 million gallons of gasoline through a single illegal tap over 10 hours and immediately elevating the issue to the top of the administration’s agenda. But targeting the fuel theft racket as his first major security initiative also appeared to be an astute political move by Mr. López Obrador.

Brought to power on a wave of populist anger that handed him a mandate to reshape the nation, Mr. López Obrador was eager to make good on his core promises: to tackle corruption and crime and to reduce poverty and inequality by making the country’s sources of wealth work for all.

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Mexico’s president proposes three names for Pemex board

4/8/2019 – Reuters

08-04-2019-FOTO-02-CONFERENCIA-DE-PRENSA-MATUTINA-770x479.jpgMEXICO CITY, April 8 (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday that he will send to the Senate his proposal for three people to fill seats on the board of state-run oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex).

Lopez Obrador said he will propose as independent board members Edmundo Sanchez Aguilar, Juan Jose Paullada and Jose Eduardo Beltran Hernandez.

According to the Pemex website, there are three vacancies on the five-member independent board.

The Wall Street Journal reported on March 29 that three independent board members of Pemex were set to resign over conflicts with Lopez Obrador’s strategy for managing the troubled oil company.

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At most only 22 vaquita porpoises remain

3/7/2019 – The Washington Post

By Mark Stevenson

vaquitaExperts said Wednesday that at most only 22 vaquitas remain in the Gulf of California, where a grim, increasingly violent battle is playing out between emboldened fishermen and the last line of defense for the smallest and most endangered porpoise in the world.

Jorge Urban, a biology professor at the Baja California Sur University, said the 22 vaquitas were heard over a network of acoustic monitors at the end of summer. That was, in fact, higher than many had expected; some had estimated as little as 15 would remain in the Gulf, also known as the Sea of Cortez, the only place in the world where the vaquita marina is found.

It may be a sign the vaquita is holding on, and what is keeping it alive is a thin line of defenders: Every night 22 volunteer crew members from ships operated by the environmentalist group Sea Shepherd go out to search the upper Gulf for hidden gill nets that catch prized – but protected – totoaba fish and drown vaquitas.

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Wild cats, boas are obstacles in Mexican president’s refinery race

2/21/2019 – Reuters

Capture.JPGPARAISO, Mexico (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s race to build an oil refinery in record time on land that was until recently alive with mangrove, wild cats and boa constrictors, has run into trouble, complicating his effort to revive ailing state-oil company Pemex.

Even before Lopez Obrador took office last December, work had begun to cut down protected woodland on Pemex land on the coast of Tabasco state to make room for the new refinery next to the Dos Bocas port.

But oil industry environmental regulator ASEA in January ruled that the contractor that deforested the land did not have the correct permits to do so. The body levied a fine of about $700,000. ASEA says work on the refinery can only go ahead once a full environmental impact assessment is done and approved.

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Mexico cancels clean energy auction

2/6/2019 – Wind Power Monthly

sky clouds building industry
Photo by Pixabay on

It had previously suspended the auction in December, a day before bids were due, and two days after new president Andrés Miguel López Obrador was sworn in.

Brian Gaylord, senior analyst for Latin America at Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewbles (formerly Make Consulting), described the decision to cancel the tender as “ludicrous”. He tweeted that it was “extremely difficult to envision a logical reason” for the cancellation.

He told Windpower Monthly the decision appeared to be politically motivated as the new administration has vowed to modernise its old thermal and hydro power plants.

In his inauguration speech, Obrador criticised the previous government’s energy reform of opening up the market to private companies for the first time in eight decades.

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Magnitude 6.6 Quake Strikes Southern Mexico

2/1/2019 – The New York Times

(REUTERS | Carlos Jasso)

By Reuters

MEXICO CITY — A magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas on Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said, with the quake being felt as far away as El Salvador.

An official with emergency services in Chiapas said that he felt the quake but that he did not see any immediate damage. A Reuters witness said the quake was felt in San Salvador.

The epicentre of the quake hit at a depth of 42 miles (68 km) near the Pacific coast and Mexico’s border with Guatemala, according to the USGS.

There were no immediate reports of major damage in Mexico City, though some people evacuated office buildings.

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