China Natural Gas Shortage: Authorities allow burning of coal for heating purposes
The cold snap has brought a modern Chinese dilemma into greater focus. The country is currently facing a worrying shortage of natural gas, yet it's also, of course, trying to curb the use of dirty fuels for a cleaner environment. However, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development has taken action, and says for regions with little or no access to natural gas, they can burn coal for heating purposes. Because of the increasing demand for natural gas in the much colder north and north-east regions, provinces in the south -- such as Hunan, Sichuan and Yunnan -- have had to start rationing it to a certain extent. Hunan actually issued a code yellow alert over its shortage on Tuesday.