Sat, Mar 03, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Government says electricity supply will be sufficient

POLITICALLY MOTIVATED?KMT Legislator Lee Yen-hsiu said that Lai and Tsai are ‘failing to win the public’s trust’ due to their inability to regulate product prices

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

The nation will have sufficient electricity throughout this year, Premier William Lai (賴清德) said yesterday, adding that reactivation of the No. 2 reactor of the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里) would not interfere with the Democratic Progressive Party’s promise to establish a “nuclear-free homeland.”

Lai made the remarks at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei in response to questions from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lee Yen-hsiu (李彥秀) on whether the nation is experiencing an electricity shortage.

While acknowledging that state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) has fallen slightly behind on its goal of achieving an energy reserve of 6 percent, he said the company’s power generation would undoubtedly be enough to cover this year’s consumption.

Asked why the Executive Yuan has requested that lawmakers sign a proposal to reactivate Guosheng’s No. 2 reactor, Lai said that as the reactor has just undergone annual maintenance, it is standard procedure for Taipower to tender a proposal to reactivate it.

The proposal should not be interpreted as the government backtracking on its pledge to create a nuclear-free homeland by 2025, he said later, in response to a question by People First Party Legislator Chou Chen Hsiu-hsia (周陳秀霞).

Asked by Lee about media reports that Taipower is poised to hike electricity prices next month, Lai said: “There is no need to speculate on this issue right now, so that misunderstanding can be avoided.”

The Bureau of Energy’s Electricity Pricing Review Committee would assess whether it is necessary to increase electricity prices, he said.

Lee called an amendment to the Air Pollution Act (空氣汙染防制法) proposed by the Cabinet the “sham of the century,” as Article 14 of the bill stipulates that there will be no ceiling to the amount of natural gas that can be used by power plants, which could generate air pollution different from that of coal-fired power plants.

She said Environmental Protection Administration Minister Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) should heed his pledge to resign if he fails to reduce the number of days on which levels of PM2.5 — fine particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrometers or less — trigger a “red alert” on the administration’s color-coded air quality index by 20 percent from the number recorded in 2015.

Despite the premier reiterating that the supply and price of toilet paper was stable, Lee said that Lai and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) are “failing to win the public’s trust” when it comes to their ability to regulate product prices.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Ho Hsin-chun (何欣純) attributed media reports about electricity and toilet paper price hikes to politically motived people manipulating public sentiment.

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