China Takes On Big Risks in Its Push for Shale Gas

Residents of this isolated mountain valley of terraced cornfields were just going to sleep last April when they were jolted by an enormous roar, followed by a tower of flames. A shock wave rolled across the valley, rattling windows in farmhouses and village shops, and a mysterious, pungent gas swiftly pervaded homes.“It was so scary — everyone who had a car fled the village and the rest of us without cars just stayed and waited to die,” said Zhang Mengsu, a hardware store owner.All too quickly, residents realized the source of the midnight fireball: a shale gas drilling rig in their tiny rural hamlet.Read full text in The New York Times