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Mexico Energy Bill Should Keep Constitution Intact, Aldana Says

Mexico President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto should avoid changing the constitution as part of his energy bill when he takes office, Ricardo Aldana, treasurer of Petroleos Mexicanos’s union and a congressman, said.

“I think that a workable approach is to seek mechanisms that won’t disrupt the constitution,” Aldana said today in an interview in Mexico City.“We need to see how far we can get without touching the constitution.”

Mexico’s constitution bans private companies from owning oil and gas fields or refining oil.

Pena Nieto’s team is seeking ways to open up Mexico’s energy industry without amending the constitution, Ildefonso Guajardo, an economic adviser on the team, said in an Oct. 3 interview.

Pena Nieto wants to break Pemex’s monopoly on refining and exploration and is conducting “a technical analysis of how far we can get without a constitutional change” that will need a two-thirds congressional majority, Guajardo said.

In a second phase of reforms, constitutional changes may be more feasible, said Aldana, who is a member of Pena Nieto’s party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party. “All depends on what’s required and how far they want to get with the changes.”

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