By DANIEL SHAILER
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The administration of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been creating more protected natural areas, but environmentalists accuse it of trying to “greenwash” an image of favoring petroleum in a time of climate change. They note the administration is entering its final year after focusing in its first five on building a giant new oil refinery, propping up the state-owned oil company and legislating against renewable energy producers. And while the government boasts about adding dozens of the new protected areas, it is simultaneously slashing funding for the environmental protection department and reducing the money available to safeguard those areas. The new budget for 2024 cuts funding for the environmental department by $510 million or 11%.