Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has urged people to reduce their power consumption amid a shortage caused by the Texas deep freeze that prompted the state to restrict natural gas imports to Mexico.
“I call on all Mexicans to help us by consuming less,” Lopez Obrador said as quoted by Reuters, advising Mexicans to turn off unnecessary lights during peak demand in the evenings, “To be totally sure that our electricity system is maintained and that we don’t suffer from blackouts.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott earlier this week banned the exports of natural gas until normal production is restored, which he expects to happen by Sunday.
Texas’ natural gas production, normally accounting for about a quarter of the U.S. total, slumped by more than half during the freezing spell in the state, creating power shortages in the state. The shortages spilled over into Mexico soon enough, leaving several million people in the northern Mexican states without power.
Mexico is heavily reliant on natural gas imports from the United States for its electricity generation. Most of this gas comes from Texas, where this week production and processing equipment froze. As a result of the outages, Mexico might shed 1 percent of its GDP this year.
The country is now looking for ways to solve the export ban issue diplomatically but has signaled that it will not retaliate.
“I want to make this clear, there is no reprisal, this is a difficult circumstance for them, and they think that by closing, they protect Texas,” Lopez Obrador told the media.
Meanwhile, the situation in Texas and Oklahoma is still challenging. Power has been restored to millions of Texans, but access to clean water remains problematic, according to a CBS report. In one town, authorities have advised that water be used only to sustain life at this point.