Taipei, Oct. 12 (CNA)－Activists on Friday applauded the government’s decision to scrap plans to expand the coal-fired Shen’ao power plant, which had been met with heavy opposition from environmental groups since it was announced in March.
Hung Shen-han (洪申翰), secretary-general of the Green Citizens’ Action Alliance, hailed the government’s decision as a step in the right direction, saying the project would have had a profoundly negative affect on the environment if the project had been carried out.
The government needs to be more decisive in promoting energy transformation instead of resorting to coal or nuclear power, Hung contended.
Chen Chih-chiang (陳志強), head of the Anti-Shen’ao Self-Help Association, said that while he applauded the decision, he will only have peace of mind when he sees the Ministry of Economic Affairs and state-run utility Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) make the announcement official on paper.
Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said at a legislative hearing earlier Friday that he agreed with a decision made by the (MOEA) to shelve the project in New Taipei.
The announcement represented a U-turn from March 2018, when Lai’s administration approved an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the Shen’ao facility and appeared determined to proceed with the project.
The plan was met at the time with strong protests from a number of environmental groups, including the Green Citizens’ Action Alliance, Greenpeace, Homemakers United Foundation, and Citizen of the Earth Taiwan, which wanted it to be scrapped.
The government’s reversal showed on Friday that public opinion and people power can indeed prevail, Hung said.