Sat, Jul 06, 2019 - Page 3 News List

KMT’s five candidates ‘fail’ energy policy test

PRESIDENTIAL?Terry Gou and Eric Chu fared a little better than the other three for talking about energy-saving and carbon reduction, environmentalists said

By Su Fun-her  /  Staff reporter

Yenliao Anti-Nuclear Self-Help Association secretary-general Yang Mu-huo, second left, speaks at a news conference the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union held in Taipei yesterday. He is joined by the union’s director, Liu Jyh-jian, center, and its founding chairman Shih Hsin-min, second right, among others.

Photo: CNA

Environmentalists yesterday said that the five candidates in the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential primary have “failed the test” by spreading false information about energy policy and supporting nuclear power.

The five are Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou (郭台銘), former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), former Taipei County commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) and National Taiwan University political science professor Chang Ya-chung (張亞中).

In the last of the party’s three televised policy presentation forums on Wednesday, all five expressed support for extending the services of nuclear power facilities.

Han, Chou and Chang “utterly” failed the test, because they supported resuming construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, Trees Party Secretary-General Pan Han-sheng (潘翰聲) told a news conference in Taipei.

The plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮) was mothballed in July 2015 during the administration of former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT.

Gou and Chu could be granted “make-up exams,” because they at least touched upon work for energy transformation, such as energy-saving and carbon reducing plans, and building smart electricity grids, Pan said.

However, Chu was mistaken that the nation is unlikely to generate up to 30 percent of its electricity from natural gas by 2025, as the ratio was already achieved in 2015, Pan said.

Last year, nearly 38.6 percent of the nation’s power was generated by gas-fired units, 38.8 percent by coal-fired units, 11.4 percent by nuclear power plants, 4.9 percent by renewable units and the rest from other mixed sources, Taiwan Power Co’s Web site shows.

Han’s argument that air pollution in the nation is caused by power plants that use “cheap coal” is also misleading, as it actually occurred in late 1980s during the KMT’s rule, Pan said.

In supporting nuclear power, Gou overlooked the fact that Apple Inc has joined the RE100 initiative and committed itself to using 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, he said, asking if Gou wants to scare off a big client.

While Taiwanese in a referendum last year voted against achieving a “nuclear-free homeland by 2025,” only the deadline was nullified, not the policy, Taiwan Environmental Protection Union founding chairman Shih Hsin-min (施信民) said.

Existing nuclear power facilities should still be decommissioned by 2025, when their 40-year operating permits expire, he said.

To stop the KMT from pushing to restart the mothballed nuclear power plant, the Democratic Progressive Party should propose a plan to dismantle the plant soon, he added.

Additional reporting by CNA and Lin Chia-nan

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