Wed, Apr 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

KMT lawmakers give petitions to CEC

COAL-DRIVEN:The lawmakers want a referendum on coal-fired power plants, saying the DPP government needs to focus on cutting air pollution as part of its energy plan

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators in Taipei yesterday pose at a news conference after delivering 25,000 petitions demanding a referendum on the future of coal-fired power generation in Taiwan.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday delivered 25,000 petitions to the Central Election Commission (CEC) to back its bid to initiate a referendum on gradually reducing the nation’s reliance on coal to generate electricity.

Although air pollution from coal-fired power plants in central Taiwan is still an issue, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration has decided to allow the expansion of the coal-fired Shenao Power Plant in New Taipei City, indicating that it has failed to devise a viable solution in its energy policy to the problem of air pollution, KMT caucus whip Lin Te-fu (林德福) told a news conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.

“Through directly exercising civic rights, [the KMT] wants to tell President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration that it must come up with measures in its energy policy to reduce air pollution,” he said.

KMT Legislator Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) — who has been nominated by the KMT for the year-end mayoral election in Taichung — said poor air quality was the reason she decided to run for Taichung mayor, as she, just like any other resident of the city, has run out of patience over its air pollution.

Taichung residents are not “air purifiers,” and they do not want to contract respiratory diseases in exchange for electrical power, Lu said, as she called on more people to take part in the referendum drive.

The DPP’s energy platform — which would increase the proportion of coal-derived energy in the run-up to 2025, its date for a nuclear-free homeland and to for reducing coal-derived energy from the 50 percent to 30 percent by boosting renewable energy sources — is “rash,” said KMT Legislator Wang Hui-mei (王惠美), the KMT’s candidate for Changhua County commissioner.

Before she left her home in Changhua yesterday morning, the concentration of PM2.5 — airborne particulates measuring less than 25 micrometers — shot to 118 micrograms per cubic meter, indicating that the air quality was “detrimental to the health of all groups” according to the Environmental Protection Administration’s Web site, Wang said.

Many Changhua residents are now in the habit of checking the air quality index before deciding whether to go outside, she said.

The KMT lawmakers called on the CEC not to obstruct the review of the KMT’s referendum proposal so that a second-stage signature drive can be held.

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