Leaking natural gas hurts environment, but industry has little incentive to stop it

Aug 22, 2016

The natural gas industry tells us that using natural gas is environmentally friendly. The industry says natural gas has fewer impurities than coal, and tells us its combustion yields mostly carbon dioxide and water vapor, so there’s less pollution.

But the main ingredient of natural gas is methane. And methane is one of the biggest contributors to climate change.

That’s why University of Michigan public policy assistant professor Catherine Hausman said we need to be concerned about what happens to the environment when methane leaks.

She also believes the utilities have little incentive to plug natural gas leaks. She recently wrote about the issue in an article at TheConversation.com and she joined Stateside to talk more about it. 

Listen to the full interview above to hear what "fugitive methane" is, and what Hausman thinks can be done to minimize the environmental harm of natural gas leaks.

Catherine Hausman
 is a public policy assistant professor at the University of Michigan

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