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Economy

In Poland, Shale Gas Fuels Dreams Of Energy Independence

Polish authorities are giving an enthusiastic thumbs-up to shale gas, a controversial yet potentially lucrative source of fuel that could free the country from relying on historical rival Russia for its gas needs.

Poland's foreign minister, Radoslaw Skiroski, discusses shale gas during a May 18 forum in Warsaw
Poland's foreign minister, Radoslaw Skiroski, discusses shale gas during a May 18 forum in Warsaw
Piotr Smolar

WARSAW - Ask any Polish person about what might be hiding below the country's surface and may trigger a euphoric reaction. Some are talking about an El Dorado. Others are dreaming of enough wealth to fund a Norwegian-style development boom.

The frenzy is not about gold, diamonds or oil, but about gas – shale gas to be precise. According to some estimates, Poland may be sitting on one of Europe's largest deposits of the trendy but controversial fuel source.

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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