Hausman talks “fugitive methane” and incentivizing natural gas utilities to reduce it

August 23, 2016

Cynthia Canty, host of Michigan Radio’s “Stateside,” interviews Catherine Hausman for a program on “fugitive methane,” or methane gas leaks, in the natural gas distribution industry.

“The natural gas industry tells us that using natural gas is environmentally friendly," says Canty. “But the main ingredient of natural gas is methane. And methane is one of the biggest contributors to climate change.”

Catherine Hausman, who has investigated fugitive methane in the natural gas distribution industry that brings heat to many homes in the winter, explains why utilities currently have little incentive to plug leaks.

Hausman suggests specific regulatory policies that can be used to address the problem, as well as the challenges states will need to overcome as they work to implement them.

For more on this topic, also read “Why methane leaks matter and why markets won’t fix them” and “Methane leak repairs, low-hanging fruit for climate change abatement.” 


Catherine Hausman is an assistant professor of public policy at the Ford School. Her research focuses on environmental and energy economics.