Environmental groups opposed to the coal-fired Shenao Power Plant (深澳電廠) and third liquefied natural gas terminal projects yesterday said that they are to march on Ketagalan Boulevard in Taipei on Nov. 3 to criticize Premier William Lai (賴清德) for backing the projects.
Plans to build Taiwan Power Co’s (Taipower) Shenao plant in New Taipei City’s Rueifang District (瑞芳) obtained approval from the Environmental Protection Administration in May, sparking protests from residents and groups.
Meanwhile, CPC Corp, Taiwan’s plan to build a gas terminal on the coast of Datan Borough (大潭) in Taoyuan’s Guanyin District (觀音) was in July rejected by an environmental impact assessment committee, but its conclusion must be confirmed by a grand assembly.
Environmental groups Air Clean Taiwan, Taoyuan Local Union and the Green Consumers’ Foundation said that they are to march on Ketagalan Boulevard three weeks before the nine-in-one local elections to push candidates to save algal reefs on the terminal’s planned site and to reject the Shenao project.
Regarding Lai’s announcement later yesterday that the Executive Yuan might consider revoking permission for the Shenao project if the terminal plan is passed, union director Pan Chong-cheng (潘忠政) said that Lai is lying and deliberately sowing discord among New Taipei City and Taoyuan residents.
The projects are not interchangeable, as one is a coal-fired plant and the other is a gas terminal, Pan said, adding that Lai is trying to curry favor with New Taipei City residents as the Democratic Progressive Party is nervous about its election chances there.
The groups are to hold the march and continue watching the Executive Yuan’s attitude on the project, Pan added.
Lai’s statement proves that the Shenao project is not as necessary as he has claimed, Anti-Shenao Plant Self-Help Group director Chen Chih-chiang (陳志強) said, adding that the Executive Yuan should scrap the plan.
The group on Wednesday sent out more than 200 letters of promise to election candidates in Taipei, New Taipei City and Keelung, asking them to declare their opposition to the Shenao project, Chen said.
As of yesterday, the group had received signatures from seven city councilor candidates, but no mayoral candidates, he said.
The group would on Oct. 15 reveal the names of candidates who make the promise, Chen said, adding that it would also join the Nov. 3 march to urge the government to review its energy policy.
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