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New Ministry to Control Energy Use Suggested
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Following China's failure to achieve its annual energy consumption control goals, the country's lawmakers are urging the government to set up a new ministry to ensure the efficient and sustainable use of energy resources.

"China's energy supervision department is seriously understaffed. Without a professional and strong administrative team, laws and regulations cannot be well implemented," said Wang Weicheng, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, which will kick off its annual full session on Monday.

China abolished the Ministry of Energy in 1993. Currently, energy control falls in the power of the National Development and Reform Commission.

"Many countries, including the United States and Russia, have ministerial level departments on energy resources. The US Department of Energy even has more than 10,000 staff members," said Wang, a heat energy engineering professor with Qinghua University.
The professor said his suggestion has won support from more than 20 deputies this year. "We hope that the government would further control energy consumption and improve environmental assessment of large projects," he said.

Wang said his previous suggestions have received "positive" feedback from relevant government departments and he hopes the suggestion will really make a difference this year.

The Chinese government set an annual goal of reducing energy consumption per unit GDP by 4 percent in 2006. But official statistics showed that the country's energy consumption per 10,000 yuan (US$1,292) of GDP fell 1.23 percent to 1.21 tons of coal equivalent in 2006, failing to meet the projected target.

(Xinhua News Agency March 4, 2007)

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