Here comes the big one. PetroChina inked a US$41.1 billion deal with Exxon Mobil that will supply the Chinese firm with 2.25 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year for 20 years. The gas will come from the Gorgon gas field located off the coast of Western Australia in which Exxon holds a 25% stake along with some familiar names like Shell and Chevron. It’s the third LNG deal for PetroChina in Oz since September 2007 and the country’s largest trade deal ever. It is also part and parcel of China’s attempts to shift its energy mix towards cleaner fuels. A recent government panel found that China’s greenhouse gas emissions could peak by 2030 if the country moves toward clean energies and enforces strict emissions and power supply quotas. Notably, the report claimed that China would be able to maintain its economic growth while curbing emission. But a story out of Shaanxi province demonstrates the fundamental difficulties of going green while pocketing greenbacks (or renminbi). A lead and zinc smelter has continued to operate despite a government closure order issued after children in nearby villages were found to have elevated levels of lead. Residents said local government has protected the smelter as it is the largest contributor to the local economy.