The new energy secretary: if the people don't want a refinery, there won't be one. The new energy secretary: if the people don't want a refinery, there won't be one.

Although work has begun, future of new refinery will be decided this weekend

Government will respect the people's will, says new energy secretary

The new oil refinery in Tabasco is not a done deal because the new government will accept the results of this weekend’s public consultation on the project, according to incoming energy secretary Rocío Nahle.

The consultation process has already killed the multi-billion-peso Mexico City airport, and it might do the same for the Dos Bocas refinery, although little money has been invested in it so far.

Nahle said today that the results of the consultation this weekend will dictate the refinery’s future.

“If the people say no, well, we will respect what the people say.”

She said a new refinery is necessary but a vote against it would mean investing in and reconfiguring the existing six refineries but conceded that investments in recent years have not succeeded in boosting production.

Work has already begun to prepare the refinery site, triggering a complaint by an environmental group that claims the project has neither environmental permits nor authorization for a land-use change.

Meanwhile, the same pubic consultation will also ask citizens if they support the Maya train. Planning for that project is already under way and its inauguration has been scheduled for next month.

Today the new administration said in a statement that the first tenders would be announced in early December.

It was not specified what would happen in the event that the people say no.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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