El Poder del Consumidor (The Power of the Consumer), is a non-profit NGO that protects consumer rights in Mexico. On March 20, they issued a press release signed by multiple environmental NGOs celebrating the repeal of the 2017 modification to NOM-016 that allowed E10 in Mexico outside of the metropolitan zones and granted them a 1psi-vapor pressure (RVP) waiver, called a “permit to pollute” and established an uneven playing field for oxygenates in Mexico.
The organization published the following press release:
Closing the door on ethanol in 10% gasoline is a triumph for the environment and for the Mexican consumer
- We recognize the effort of the SCJN to ensure the right to a healthy environment.
- The update of the emission control standard for light vehicles is urgent.
- We demand to improve the quality of gasoline.
Mexico City, March 18, 2021. – Today, March 18, expired the 180-day period established by the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) as the limit to commercialize gasoline in Mexico with a content of up to 10% of ethanol as an oxygenating agent.
This transition period was established as a result of the ruling of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) against the expansion of the limit of ethanol content as oxygen in gasoline, returning this to 5.8%.
The prohibitions on the use of ethanol in gasoline sold in the metropolitan areas of Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara continue due to the multiple considerations of negative environmental impacts derived from the use of alcohol as an oxygenate for gasoline.
From the Citizen Observatory of Air Quality (OCCA) * we recognize the effort of the SCJN to ensure the right to a healthy environment, taking into account the principle of environmental precaution, and the procedure of the CRE in having attended the SCJN's ruling.
Despite restoring the original limit for ethanol as an oxygenate in gasoline, the introduction of ethanol in our country continues to present risks for various reasons: the lag of more than 16 years in the light vehicle emission control standard (NOM- 042-SEMARNAT-2003), the various air quality problems due to the formation of ozone in at least 30 cities and metropolitan areas of the country (which did not comply with NOM-020-SSA1-2014 in 2018) 2 and the type of volatility of gasoline distributed throughout the country throughout the year.
The resolution of the SCJN is in line with the recommendations of various federal and local, independent and government institutions, which have pointed out the negative impacts that ethanol has on air quality, among which the following stand out: the National Commission for Human Rights Human (CNDH), the National Institute for Ecology and Climate Change (INECC), the Mexican Petroleum Institute (IMP), the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), the Ministry of the Environment of the City of Mexico (Sedema) and the Ministry of the Environment and Territorial Development of Jalisco (Semadet).
In addition to the health risks from the use of ethanol, there would be damages to consumers due to the damage it can cause in vehicles that are not designed to operate with ethanol-gasoline blends, coupled with the loss of power that this implies.
In the Regulatory Impact Analysis, a possible impact on more than 16.8 million vehicles was estimated due to the use of 10% ethanol and a total cost for these damages of more than $ 46 billion pesos.
The same document also calculates a cost of between $ 43 million and $ 72 million pesos for each Storage and Distribution Terminal (TAR) that has to be conditioned to store the ethanol-gasoline mixture.