MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's energy regulator, CRE, gave the go-ahead on Monday to an increase in the ethanol content in gasoline for domestic consumption to as much as 10 percent, from 5.8 percent currently, even as environmental groups warned the action would worsen pollution.
With the change, gasoline imported and sold in Mexico will be more similar to that sold in the United States.
"Gas stations in Mexico can't offer gasoline similar to that sold in the United States of America because norms prohibit such gasoline from being sold in Mexico," CRE said in the official gazette.
"This situation, in addition to being a disadvantage for the already established gas stations in Mexico, represents a barrier for those who plan to import into Mexico gasoline used in the United States of America," CRE added.
The measure, which will take effect on Tuesday, affects gasoline only, not diesel. It will exclude Mexico City and a host of surrounding municipalities in the State of Mexico, as well as Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco state and Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo Leon.
Environmental groups have warned that increasing ethanol levels in gasoline will make air pollution worse in Mexico.
Reporting by Adriana Barrera; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Steve Orlofsky