This week, China used hydraulic fracturing to complete its first horizontal shale gas well and began its journey to get 10% of its energy needs from natural gas by 2020. By comparison natural gas provides right now 25% of all energy usage in the USA. Shale gas has increased Chinese natural gas reserves by 10 times.
China is the world's largest emitter of carbon, the world's largest user of energy, and the world's second largest economy.
China powers itself primarily on coal and now must import coal to meet its needs. Chinese coal plants often have few environmental controls and burn coal inefficiently, resulting in large amounts of mercury, other toxics, soot, smog, and heat trapping gas being emitted to the atmosphere.
China's development of shale gas will reduce significantly its pollution loading as more efficient, cleaner natural gas plants take the place of dirtier, older, inefficient coal plants.
China is also in the middle of the world's largest nuclear plant construction program with an incredible 27 nuclear plants being built now.