Sun, Nov 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Protesters march against government energy policy

SAVE OUR SEA:Environmentalists urged the DPP to think of the endangered species and algal reefs that would be hurt if an LNG terminal is built in Taoyuan

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Environmentalists from several civil groups rally on Zhongxiao E Road in Taipei yesterday to protest the building of a liquefied natural gas terminal that they said would jeopardize algal reefs and endangered species in the sea off Datan Borough in Taoyuan’s Guanyin District.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

Environmentalists yesterday took to the streets in Taipei to protest the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration’s energy policy.

According to the organizer’s estimate at 2pm, the protest drew nearly 3,000 demonstrators, who called on the government to scrap state-run CPC Corp, Taiwan’s plan to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Taoyuan before the Nov. 24 nine-in-one elections.

The project on Oct. 8 passed an environmental impact assessment (EIA), after Premier William Lai (賴清德) announced that if it was passed, the coal-fired Shenao power plant construction project proposed for New Taipei City that had passed an earlier EIA would be abolished.

The result infuriated many environmentalists, who said the two are not interchangeable and that the terminal project would jeopardize algal reefs and endangered species in the sea off Datan Borough (大潭) in Taoyuan’s Guanyin District (觀音).

Calling on the government to reduce coal use, save the algal reefs and fight air pollution, the protesters used dozens of red umbrellas to make the shape of a ballot stamp on Ketagalan Boulevard for an aerial photograph and vowed to use their ballots to resist the ruling party’s “autocratic democracy.”

They also marched to the Executive Yuan compound and DPP headquarters, pasting stickers that read “clean coal” and carrying placards with slogans mocking Lai’s previous defense of the Shenao plant.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) New Taipei City mayoral candidate Hou You-yi (侯友宜) and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Liou Her-ran (劉和然) also joined the march, but did not make speeches.

KMT Taoyuan mayoral candidate Apollo Chen (陳學聖) and independent Taoyuan mayoral candidates Yang Li-huan (楊麗環) and Chu Mei-hsueh (朱梅雪) also took part in the march.

They accused Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) of the DPP, who is seeking re-election, of failing to protect the algal reefs and vowed to block the LNG terminal should they be elected.

Social Democratic Party, New Power Party, Trees Party and Left Party candidates were also present.

Air Clean Taiwan director Yeh Guang-perng (葉光芃) said that marches against air pollution used to be held in central and southern Taiwan, where the air quality is poor, but this year one took place in Taipei because of several controversial development projects in the north.

Two other marches against air pollution are to take place in Kaohsiung on Sunday next week and in Taichung on Nov. 18, Yeh said.

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