The Legislative Yuan yesterday passed a resolution proposed by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to decommission Taichung Power Plant’s coal-fired generators by 2035, and to preserve the generators as a national security emergency reserve.
Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) had said that it would decommission the plant’s 10 coal-fired subcritical steam generators by 2046.
The resolution, which was introduced by Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) of the DPP, cleared the legislative floor with a vote of 68 to zero.
Photo courtesy of the Taichung City Government
The DPP’s version asks the government to keep construction of the plant’s natural gas-fired No. 1 and No. 2 units on schedule, and to accelerate construction of the No. 3 and No. 4 units.
The natural gas units would take over from their coal-fired counterparts one at a time after two years of continuous, normal operation.
The coal-fired boilers would be decommissioned and put in reserve, not scrapped.
Photo: Chen Yu-fu, Taipei Times
The DPP version prevailed over proposals by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the New Power Party (NPP), which were voted down largely along party lines.
The KMT proposal asked the government to decommission two coal-fired units at a time, with the first wave of decommissioning beginning before construction of the gas-fired units would have been approved.
The KMT caucus, which abstained from voting on the DPP plan, chanted “too slow” as their DPP colleagues cast their ballots.
KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), who cosponsored the draft, credited his party for pushing the DPP into retiring coal-fired generators earlier than the government had planned.
“Still, the resolution to decommission instead of scrapping raises doubts that [the DPP] might be putting on a performance” for Taichung voters, Chiang said.
Clean Air Taichung spokeswoman Shih Yu-ching (石毓菁) urged Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) to not delay the DPP plan, which promises to deliver gas turbines on an accelerated timetable.
However, the DPP plan is “indeed too slow” over decommissioning the coal-fired units, which Taipower is to terminate before 2030, Shih said.
The legislature also passed a resolution ordering the Ministry of the Interior to evaluate whether the national emblem bears an inappropriate resemblance to the KMT’s emblem.
The ministry is to present a report to the legislature in two months from today.
The emblem resolution, which was proposed by the NPP, cleared the legislative floor 63 to 37.
The DPP and NPP lawmakers voted in favor, the KMT legislators voted against and the Taiwan People’s Party’s five lawmakers abstained.
The resolution states that the government must provide a clear rationale to justify the similarity of the national emblem and the KMT emblem, which “causes confusion and is inappropriate” for a democratic country.
“The KMT emblem represents only the will of a part of the people,” NPP Legislator Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) said.
“The similarity of the national emblem to the party emblem suggests a lack of separation between state and party. This should not be allowed in Taiwan today,” Chiu said.
KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy chairman Cheng Chao-hsin (鄭照新) said that people had never been confused about the state and party emblems.
“The public do not care about this issue in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cheng said.
Additional reporting by Tsai Shu-yuan and CNA
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