Chinese officials point fingers as gasification crisis worsens

When an inspector from a local environmental protection bureau visited a small village in China’s Shandong province in October to check on a gasification project, she said village officials became tearful in lamenting how far behind schedule they were. For years, the village has been haunted by pollution from nearby coal mines and chemical plants. The village had been rushing to finish installing new gas boilers for residents as they ditched their old coal stoves, the inspector told Reuters. The boilers are part of an ambitious gasification program under which millions of households, and some industrial users, are switching from coal to natural gas for heating, as Beijing tries to clean the tainted air in northern China after decades of galloping growth. The effect of the dramatic switch has been felt globally, with internationally shipped gas prices almost doubling this year to more than $10 per […]

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