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Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

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China's energy revolution could do more harm than good for the environment, despite the country's commitment to reducing pollution and curbing its carbon emissions. (Aug. 22)

SHOTLIST:

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Hexigten, Inner Mongolia, China - August 8, 2014

1. Mid of sheep with Datang plant in background

2. Wide of Datang plant and chimneys

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Hexigten, Inner Mongolia, China - August 6, 2014

3. SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Baiyunde (no last name), farmer (Transcript Below)

4. Wide of power plant run by the state-owned energy company Datang

5. Wide of car with Datang plant in background

6. Wide of smoke coming out of chimney

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Chifeng, Inner Mongolia, China - August 7, 2014

7. Wide of countryside around Chifeng

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Hexigten, Inner Mongolia, China - August 6, 2014

8. SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Baiyunde (no last name), farmer (Transcript Below)

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Hexigten Qi, Inner Mongolia, China - August 8, 2014

9. Tight of Chinese flag and China Datang Corporation flag

10. Wide of Datang plant

11. Tight of smoke billowing out of chimney

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Chifeng, Inner Mongolia, China - August 7, 2014

12. Mid of Chi-Jen Yang, analyst at Duke University

13. SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Chi-Jen Yang, Technology Policy Analyst (Transcript Below)

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Hexigten Qi, Inner Mongolia, China - August 8, 2014

14. Wide of smoke stacks

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Hexigten, Inner Mongolia, China - August 6, 2014

15. Wide of cows on Baiyunde's land near Datang plant

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Hexigten, Inner Mongolia, China - August 8, 2014

16. Pan of room at Datang facility

17. SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Wang Yuzhong, Head of Production Dept., Datang Plant (Transcript Below)

18. Wide of Adiya, a farmer, walking in grassland near pool

19. Various of water pool

20. SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Adiya, farmer (Transcript Below)

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Hexigten Qi, Inner Mongolia, China - August 8, 2014

21. Wide tilt up of Datang plant

VOICE-OVER SCRIPT:

DEEP IN THE REMOTE INNER MONGOLIA REGION OF CHINA, STEAM AND SULFUR BILLOW FROM TWIN SMOKE STACKS.

SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Baiyunde (no last name), farmer:

"Every day the smell is very strong. I feel dizzy, I throw up."

THIS IS THE FIRST OF MORE THAN 60 COAL-TO-GAS PLANTS CHINA PLANS TO BUILD, HOPING TO PRODUCE DESPERATELY NEEDED NATURAL GAS AND TO REDUCE SMOG IN THE EASTERN CITIES.

BUT THE NEW PLANTS MOVE POLLUTING INDUSTRIES TO REMOTE AREAS.

SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Baiyunde (no last name), farmer:

"Will they build the plant in a congested area? Of course there is harm, of course there is pollution. If there was no pollution, they would not have come here."

THE PLAN COMES AT A TIME WHEN BEIJING SAYS IT IS COMMITTED TO REDUCING ITS POLLUTION AND CURBING ITS CARBON EMISSIONS.

HOWEVER, CRITICS SAY THE COAL-TO-GAS PROCESS EMITS UP TO 82 PERCENT MORE GREENHOUSE GASES AND CONSUMES HUGE AMOUNTS OF WATER.

TO MANY EXPERTS, THE PLAN DOESN'T ADD UP.

SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Chi-Jen Yang, Technology Policy Analyst, Climate Change Policy Partnership, Duke University:

"Once you set up the factory, it is usually a 30-40 year operation. Once you have invested in it, China will have locked itself in a high water-consuming, high carbon-emitting path."

SHORTLY BEFORE A THREE-DAY CONFERENCE TO DEBATE THE TECHNOLOGY'S FUTURE, ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORTERS TOURED THE COUNTRYSIDE NEAR ONE OF THE PLANTS AND THEY SAY THE SMELL WAS STRONG.

BUT DURING THE OFFICIAL VISIT OF THE PLANT, THE SMELL WAS GONE AND STAFF SAID THE WASTE WATER WAS BEING RECYCLED.

SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Wang Yuzhong, Head of the production department, Datang plant:

"The wastewater, we entirely re-use it, including the rain water. We will collect, recycle and re-use it."

A LOCAL FARMER HOWEVER POINTED TO A LARGE POOL OF WHAT APPEARED TO BE BLACK WASTEWATER... SITTING BESIDE A PLANT WALL, WITH NO LINING OR OTHER PROTECTION THAT WOULD PREVENT IT FROM CONTAMINATING GROUNDWATER.

SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Adiya (no last name), farmer (holding piece of waste):

"This is what you can find in the wastewater."

SO FAR, CHINA IS RUNNING ONLY TWO PILOT PLANTS, WITH ANOTHER 21 APPROVED.

MATTHEW BURGOYNE, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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