The petroleum burning power plant in Guaymas is slated to be replaced with a natural gas burning power plant in 2016. And while there is no one really against retiring that heinous petroleum burning, heavy polluting antiquated nightmare of a power plant in Guaymas to a cleaner fuel source it should be noted that there are several people unhappy with exactly where the pipe lines are going to be placed, that is the real controversy in Guaymas. The other thing worth mentioning is where is all the natural gas is going to come from? Which of course will be from the United States of America and its grand fracking industry. This is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on which side of the fracking coin you lie. Some are predicting that the Mexican demand for natural gas is over estimated. What ever your feelings be on fracking the reality is that the pipe line is being built in Guaymas as my cold fingers type out this blog post and there are some calling in question not really where the gas is coming from but where the pipe is being laid.
A few weeks ago there was a large protest in Guaymas against the El Vigia Media group. If you live in the Ranchitos sector of San Carlos you certainly have heard the El Vigia Car with the loud speaker driving by blaring, at the 11 setting on the speaker, the latest headlines from Guaymas. The protest at the mayors office was indirectly related to what is called the Gasoducto. The protest had nothing to do about fracking or natural gas. What it was about was how one local Guaymas activist was bringing to the cities attention that fact that it is illegal to put the gas line right next to the IMSS hospital. Victor Parra Maldonado was slated to go on one of the popular local morning radio talk shows that is owned by non other then the El Vigia group. The radio program is hosted by “El Profe” which is short for El Profesor. When some one at the top of the food chain over at Grupo Padilla found out the topic of conversation would be the controversy over how close the Gasoducto was to the IMSS hospital the interview was immediately cancelled. So the question is why was Grupo Padilla so bent out of shape by local social activist Victor Parra Maldonado’s complaints regarding the illegality of the placement of the Gasoducto through downtown Guaymas? What came out during the protest was this very interesting little fact that was found out by a freedom of information request from Mexicos “Instituto Nacional de Transparencia, Acceso a la Información y Protección de Datos Personales”. Get this, between 2012 and 2015, the last mayor of Guaymas Otto Clauson paid the El Vigia Group a whopping 14 million pesos. That is damn near a cool One Million Dollars U.S. currency at an exchange rate of 15 pesos to the dollar. That is not just advertising money that the city of Guaymas paid this group. It is well known in Guaymas that political parties pay good money for favorable articles written about their politicians. This is been standard procedure for years in Mexico and Guaymas has been the epitome of such yellow journalism for as long as I have lived here.
Any one who says the country of Mexico is poor really should think again on that one. The federal government of Mexico under Enrique Peña Nieto has spent almost 1 billion dollars on advertising since they took office. The same thing goes for Guaymas. Almost 1 million dollars in three years to Grupo Padilla. Imagine what could have been done with that money if they spent it on something worth while? One can only imagine how much of a kick back the mayor got from that cool million he spent on god knows what from Grupo Padilla. Just a month or so ago I wrote an interesting piece on what the Guaymas budget was for San Carlos during that last administration. As it turns out officially on paper during the last three years the Comisarios office in San Carlos has 12 employees and that even includes a chauffeur!
Any way as far as the power plant goes one of my business friends in Guaymas believes that we should get ready for a small boom in the economy here. When the power plant is finished and burning natural gas our energy bills should in theory go down which he believes will help promote more industrialization of the area. Let’s not forget that there has been talk for years that Guaymas would expand its commercial shipping port with the help of the Chinese. A new natural gas power plant and a new commercial shipping port for Guaymas would certainly mean that San Carlos would expect to see another possible boom in the next few years. Only time will tell.