Tue, Oct 02, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers slam gas prices, hikes

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC) should freeze the price of natural gas and liquefied gas until the state-owned company is completely reformed, the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) legislative caucus demanded yesterday.

The caucus urged CPC to ensure liquid petroleum gas (LPG) prices remain unchanged.

“We wonder why, when crude and natural gas prices in the global market are falling, for example natural gas in New York trading markets have fallen by 12.61 percent, gas prices in Taiwan are going up,” DPP Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) said.

Households and diners are expected to suffer as a result of the price increase, he said, adding that the government should stop regarding the general public as an “automatic teller machine.”

“If the government fails to carry out reforms of these companies as soon as possible, the DPP caucus will boycott the CPC budget in the legislature,” Pan said.

The fuel and electricity price hikes — which were implemented about six months ago — have made CPC and Taiwan Power Co profitable, so there appears to be no reason to raise the prices for gas because sellers operating on the free market are already profitable, he said.

A Control Yuan investigation report stated that the cost of CPC’s natural gas purchases are visibly higher than other nations, DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said.

The report also pointed out that CPC procured most of its natural gas from Southeast Asian countries when it could purchase cheaper gas from the US, Tsai added.

DPP Legislator Hsu Chih-chieh (許智傑) called for the liberalization of the domestic gas market and urged it to be opened up to international companies to compete with CPC and to end the firm’s monopoly, saying the liberalization would benefit the public.

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