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Fracking and China's Energy Revolution

Asia Society presents an exclusive preview of a yearlong investigation by Mother Jones and Climate Desk into China's nascent fracking boom, followed by discussion of China's energy future.

June 11, 2014 7:30pm to 9:00pm

China is the world's fastest growing economy. But much of that famed miracle growth has been driven by dirty coal. China's cities are the most polluted in the world and over-exploitation of underground water reserves, mostly by the country's thirsty energy sector, has wiped 28,000 of its rivers from the map. And China's energy crisis is global. China's greenhouse gas emissions are the biggest in the world and growing at up to 10 percent per year. Enter fracking. China wants to frack the world's biggest gas reserves at a head-spinning pace: three times as fast as the U.S. has. Will the onset of fracking in China drive down its coal addiction? At what costs?


Ella Chou is an energy consultant based in Washington, D.C. The author of Energy Efficiency, and Renewable Energy for the Doha Energy Forum, Chou is currently energy director of MingX, an advisory firm that facilitates U.S.-China bilateral investment in renewables, energy efficiency, carbon capture, and environmental technologies.

Josh Fox is the Oscar-nominated director of Gasland and the founding director of International WOW Company, which advises artists on incorporating social values into their work. Fox's 2010 documentaryGasland, on fracking in America, was nominated for an Academy Award and won an Emmy. Gasland II premiered on HBO last year.

Orville Schell is the Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York. Formerly the dean at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism Schell is the author of 15 books, 10 of them about China, including, most recently, Wealth and Power: China’s Long March to the Twenty-first Century.

Moderator James West is senior producer for the Climate Desk and a contributing producer for Mother Jones. He is the author of Beijing Blur, a far-reaching account of modernizing China's underground youth scene. An award-winning videographer, he and Jaeah Lee have spent the last year reporting in China and in the U.S. on China's fracking future.

Jaeah Lee is the interactive producer at Mother Jones, where she works on code. She spent the last year reporting on China as part of a Middlebury Fellowship in Environmental Journalism. Lee previously worked at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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