China Must Exploit Its Shale Gas


Published: April 12, 2013







“…China’s greenhouse gas emissions are twice those of the United States and growing at 8 percent to 10 percent per year. Last year, China increased its coal-fired generating capacity by 50 gigawatts, enough to power a city that uses seven times the energy of New York City. By 2020, an analysis by Berkeley Earth shows, China will emit greenhouse gases at four times the rate of the United States, and even if American emissions were to suddenly disappear tomorrow, world emissions would be back at the same level within four years as a result of China’s growth alone.


…The only way to offset such an enormous increase in energy use is to help China switch from coal to natural gas. A modern natural gas plant emits between one-third and one-half of the carbon dioxide released by coal for the same amount of electric energy produced. China has the potential to unearth large amounts of shale gas through hydraulic fracturing. In 2011, the United States Energy Information Administration estimated that China had “technically recoverable” reserves of 1.3 quadrillion cubic feet, nearly 50 percent more than the United States.


…Mr. Moniz has warned of the need to curb environmental damage from the process. But he has also stressed the value of natural gas as a “bridging” source of energy as we strive to move from largely dirty energy to clean energy. Extracting shale gas in an environmentally responsible way is technically achievable, according to engineering experts. Accomplishing that goal is primarily a matter of engineering and regulation.


…That is where we need the engagement of environmental activists. At home, they can push the United States to set verifiable standards for clean hydraulic fracturing and enforce those standards through careful monitoring. Internationally, American industry can lead by showing that clean production can be profitable.”




Some discombobulated thinking here.


[1]   “A modern natural gas plant emits between one-third and one-half of the carbon dioxide released by coal for the same amount of electric energy produced.”  Ok, but this is not the whole story.  As you may view within my references, the health and environmental damage caused by the fracking process tells a whole different story.  We need to add up the CO2 used to:  {1}  pump up and transport the millions of gallons of water needed.  {2}  truck in the tons of sand and chemicals needed.  {3}  power the fracking process of forcing down the mix of water, sand and chemicals. {4}  Extract the natural gas from the water that is forced back up the well.  This is starters and I am not able to complete the picture but hope this conveys the principle.


[2]  “But developing countries have other priorities, like improving the education and health of their people.”

I can’t agree that the pollution of millions of gallons of water improves “the education and health of their people.”  This whole energy program is not about helping the poor, many of which are carrying their drinking water on their backs and bathing in putrid water because that is all that is available.  Let’s get real here.


[3]  As with the whole GM food and nanotechnology issues, it has gone on too long and so much money has been invested with “Monsanto Protection Act” type legislation that it is virtually unstoppable.  We’ve watched and done nothing about the exploitation of so much.  I guess we didn’t think these things could happen in a “democracy.”  These things only happened in “Communist” countries.  Sorry.


Here is a link to my references.