Premier Wu Den-yih continues on his crusade for the Taiwan petrochemical industry and seems to have totally lost sight of the fact that he is actually the Nation's Premier. On Friday, while commenting on the Formosa Plastic's fires, President Ma Ying-jeou's cited the Basic Environmental Act, which states that environmental protection should be the priority if any economic or technological developments cause damage to the environment. Ma then then went on to say his administration would handle related issues by adhering to the act. Yet, yesterday, the Nation's Premier was once again undermining the authority and independence of the Judiciary and calling the competence of the courts into question. In so doing, is he also not actually undermining the office of his boss, the President?
Premier Wu Den-yih. These days he seems to behave more like a Kuokuang Petrochemical executive than the nation's premier: photo Wikimedia commons.
The Basic Environmental Act clearly states that environmental protection should be the priority if any economic or technological developments cause damage to the environment. It is beyond a shadow of doubt that the expansion of the Central Taiwan Science Park is going to have a massive and irreversible impact on the environment of western Taiwan. Kuokuang's carbon dioxide emissions are expected to be around 12 million tonnes per annum according to the developers. Independent civic groups have shown that the real figure could be as high as 33 million tonnes. If the planned Kuokuang and Formosa Plastics development (8.3 million tonnes) go ahead it will increase Taiwan's carbon dioxide emissions by a huge 16% (based on the Taiwan's 2008 total carbon dioxide emissions). That's at the minimum. If projected figures from civic groups are used the total could be a shocking increase somewhere between 20-30%.
As the leaders of the nations of our planet focus on trying to reduce emissions the Taiwan Premier is on a mission to dramatically increase Taiwan's. Such actions can only be seen as defying global responsibility and totally out of touch with reality. Wu's attitude is one of absolute arrogance and his actions are immoral and irresponsible, if not even possibly criminal.
While the entire planet is being forced to cut back on emissions, does Wu not comprehend that if Taiwan dramatically increases its emissions this could well lead to punitive actions against Taiwan? Wu, by his own actions, is showing that he will stop at nothing to try satisfy the desires of the petrochemical industry. He will use forced land seizures to get the land needed. He has no problem driving farmers and villages off their land. He will destroy the livelihoods of fishing communities along the coast. He shows no regard for increasing cancer rates and the environment. Even designated important wetlands, like the the Dacheng Wetland an internationally listed Important Bird Area must just give way to the his brand of development. The likely resulting extinction of the critically endangered Taiwan pink dolphins isn't of concern when a quick buck can be made. Wu has shown nothing but contempt for the independence of the judiciary. He seems to believe that the Environmental Protection Administration is there to ensure that environmental issues don't get in the way of the petrochemical industry's expansion. He shows no respect to the nation's leading academics who have sent a strong message saying that Kuokuang is a bad idea. Wu seems to be leading the appeal against the High Administrative Court's decision. Does Wu believe the office of Premier puts him above the law. Wu really seems to have forgotten he is Taiwan's Premier. It really is time for President Ma to act against his wayward subordinate.
For more, see Wu backs appeal on science park.
Also see the following Taipei Times articles:
EDITORIAL : Environment trumps development
Recent land grabs just an echo of past actions
Kuokuang to shift to gas to salvage US$19bn plan
For more on the Pink Dolphin Blog see:
Academics against new Kuokuang plant
Government quick to defend Formosa Plastics in the wake of a second fire
Formosa Plastics on fire again
Taiwan High Administrative Court orders Central Taiwan Science Park to halt all expansion pending a ruling on two lawsuits
The saga of the CTSP Erlin Science Park and the Kuokuang Petrochemical Project
EPA to abide by court ruling on science park but....
EPA and NSC appeal High Administrative Court order
Is the State turning the police into thugs?
Erosion of law, democracy and freedom Beijing style
Local residents block access to FPG plant
Local residents continue to block access to FPG plant
Government defies the courts with the President's blessing
Plans to buy another 800 hectares of wetlands to save pink dolphin habitat and to protect threatened birds and marine life
Isn’t It Time the Legal Community Spoke Up?
Science park development at Houli gets the nod
Wu going soft on Formosa?
Taiwan's rubber stamp EPA