Hausman in The Conversation: Why methane leaks matter, and why markets won't fix them

August 10, 2016

“In less than a year, the Aliso Canyon [natural gas] facility leaked methane equal to about four million metric tons of CO2, the greenhouse gas equivalent of driving over 800,000 cars in a year,” writes Catherine Hausman for The Conversation U.S.

Hausman’s piece, “Why utilities have little incentive to plug leaking natural gas,” explores why “the lost value of leaked natural gas to a company is nowhere near the cost to society of the damages that same gas levies on the environment,” and why “environmental regulations, rather than leaving the industry to self-regulate, are the best option for cutting emissions.”

Hausman’s post is based on research she conducted with Lucija Muehlenbachs (University of Calgary/Resources for the Future). To learn more, read "Catherine Hausman on methane leak repairs: Low-hanging fruit for climate change abatement" and the 2016 National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, “Price regulation and environmental externalities: Evidence from methane leaks." An ungated version of the research is available through Resources for the Future.