Sat, Jun 23, 2018 - Page 3 News List

KMT blasts proposed amendments to air pollution act

CORPORATE CONSPIRACY?One legislator said the DPP aims to allow power plants ‘limitless emissions’ by enabling them to bypass pollution caps during an emergency

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

From left, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Arthur Chen, Alicia Wang, Chiang Wan-an, Lu Shiow-yen, Lee Yen-hsiu, Johnny Chiang and Yen Kuan-heng raise their fists during a news conference at which they criticized amendments to the Air Pollution Control Act in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times

Several key draft amendments to the Air Pollution Control Act (空氣汙染防制法) proposed by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration could aggravate air pollution and suggest that the party aims to protect corporations, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus said yesterday.

Prior to the seventh round of cross-caucus negotiations, KMT legislators held a news conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei to express their concern and frustration over three controversial draft articles proposed by the Executive Yuan.

Draft article 9 proposes allowing emissions cut from mobile sources of air pollution — such as older cars and two-stroke scooters — to be transferred to purchasable emission rights for stationary sources of air pollution — namely factories.

Draft article 12 says that the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) should act in accordance with the Ministry of Economic Affairs when setting emissions caps on air quality control zones.

Draft article 14 says that power plants should be allowed to bypass emissions caps in the event of an emergency.

The DPP is planning to allow power plants “limitless emissions,” KMT Legislator Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) said, calling on the DPP to clarify what it means by “emergency” and whether power shortages, blackouts and its “erroneous” energy policy qualify as emergencies.

The DPP’s “nuclear-free homeland” policy aims to boost the percentage of coal-fired power generation from 45 to 50 percent by 2025, when the EPA hopes to achieve an energy structure of 20 percent renewables, 30 percent coal and 50 percent natural gas.

Draft article 12 is an “overriding clause” that makes the EPA the ministry’s minion when it comes to improving air pollution, KMT Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said.

By proposing such an article, the DPP has failed to convince the public that it is serious about solving the air pollution problem, he said, adding that it might as well replace the EPA and designate the ministry as the agency that oversees the act.

The air pollution tax on gasoline is meant to discourage emissions, KMT Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) said, adding that the tax revenue is used to reduce air pollution.

However, draft article 9 aims to transform pollution cuts from vehicles into another source of air pollution, which defeats the purpose of the fund, he said.

Following the negotiations, the legislative caucuses decided to set aside nine draft articles for a final round of talks scheduled for Monday morning and, if no consensus is formed, to advance them to a plenary session for a vote.

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