The reforms are part of President Pena Nieto´s plan for a major overhaul of the country´s energy sector.
Mexico´s Senate passed two reform bills Sunday – the Hydrocarbons Act and the Electricity Industry Act – that are the first steps in President Pena Nieto's plan to open up the long-standing publicly operated energy sector to private investment.
On the third day of special sessions to discuss the reforms, the Electricity Industry Act was approved with 88 votes in favor and 26 against, and the Hydrocarbons Act was passed with 91 in favor and 26 against.
Both reforms will now be put to a vote in the Lower House before being signed into law by the President.
The reforms are seen as a pivotal step in President Pena Nieto's plan to completely overhaul the energy sector, which was approved late last year.
The energy reforms have been controversial, however because they would end subsidies for consumers and state companies. It is also believed that opening up the energy sector to private investors would favor large, private companies who already have a lot of capital and technology, which would make it hard for smaller state companies to compete.
According to the governing Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI) and the right wing National Action Party (PAN), opening up the energy sector will open up competition, and decrease prices for consumers.
"With more competition users benefit with more light competition will be cheaper, let us refer to the tests. Competition in the electricity market price reduced by 29 percent in Argentina, 30 percent in Chile and 10 percent in Peru. is this what we want for Mexico," David Penchyuna, a PRI Senator.
Mexico´s oil and gas industry was nationalized over 75 years ago, and has operated under the state owned company Pemex.
teleSUR / kb-OA