Bishop wants no more coal power plant in Bataan

Bishop wants no more coal power plant in Bataan
Church people at climate change rally in Manila. NASSA

A Catholic bishop wants no more coal-fired power plants built in Bataan province to contribute to the fight against climate change.

Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, in a pastoral letter, said it’s high time for local officials to tackle environment issues because the province had been “too kind” in allowing power plants that use fossil fuels.

The bishop said there are already four power plants in Bataan, three of which burn coal and the other one use petroleum to produce electricity.

“That is already enough contribution to the country. Our appeal is not to increase in their number. Enough is enough. Let us not allow the province to further become a virtual wasteland,” Santos said.

He said that while it cannot be denied that it has its benefits, “let us not be enticed by the cheap gains it could give us.”

The diocese said the government must find a balance between economic gains and environmental sustainability.

“We must also consider the destruction it brings to the province that will be chronic and make us all regret in the end,” said Santos.

The prelate also called on power plants’ owners and managements to become more responsible for the protection of the environment.

“Do not take advantage of the kindness and silence of the majority. Do not add to the number of power plants, specifically coal power plants in Bataan,” he said.

The bishop urged the government to embrace renewable energy sources like solar and hydro power plants instead of heavily relying on fossil fuels. “Let us promote them and allow them to propagate,” he said.

He also called on concerned government agencies to closely monitor the operations of the power plants in Bataan and enforce rules related to environment protection.

In November last year, the government approved a study whether to reactivate the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) or set up a new facility to beef up the country’s supply.

Santos has repeatedly said that the diocese will oppose any plans to revive the BNPP in Morong town, adding that a nuclear accident will bring more disaster and deaths.

He then called on the faithful to be more “vigilant” and get involved in actions that protect the environment. CBCPNews

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