In this paper, Paolo D. Farah e Riccardo Tremolada compare shale gas regulatory frameworks between China and the United States and assess its impact on water rights, environmental protection and, more widely, sustainable development goals. This topic is particularly cutting-edge timely. It is apparent that shale gas is currently entailing a revolution in the energy sector that has involved not only the United States, but the rest of the world as well, and China particularly. Indeed, it is believed by experts that China has the world’s largest extractable reserves of shale gas, and the importance of its future energy policies and environmental goals cannot be underestimated. Since China has registered a large growth in greenhouse emissions – and therefore is suffering from severe pollution issues – the opportunity to substitute coal with cleaner (although dangerous, in some aspects) technologies can represent an ideal jumping-off point to start the green revolution. As a start, the Authors consider in details the methods used to extract shale resources together with the so-called “horizontal drilling.”What it has to be underlined here is that shale gas is, in the sense here adopted, a clean energy, especially compared to coal. Besides, the nature of this practice is transitional, in the sense that its use is intended to foster the transition towards a zero-carbon society. Second, what is stressed is the role of recent product-sharing agreements with foreign firms. In this context, a special role is played by the cooperation and coordination of common initiatives between the United States and China. It is also apparent the necessity of transparency in such deals. Third, the article explores the current legislative frameworks and fiscal policies that could facilitate and incentivize a shale gas revolution. Despite the benefits it could entail, there are undoubtedly reasons of concern in relation to the extraction of shale gas. For example, the dangers of water contamination, as well as the lack of regulatory tools and adequate methods to evaluate further developments. Lastly, the global supply and demand energy mix and market are taken into consideration. The conclusion is that a better legal and regulatory framework is necessary for China as to increase energy security and to achieve China’s environmental goals as to ensure a sustainable economic growth.