HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Director of Environmental and Natural Resource Program and Senior Research Associate
Senior Lecturer in Public Policy


The future of renewables is clearly linked to the future of natural gas, which in turn is linked to the ability of all stakeholders to reduce its environmental footprint—especially fugitive methane emissions. We are now in the fourth year of a heated debate between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), industry, and environmental interest groups. Some experts argue that fugitive methane emissions have, or will soon have, a greater impact than coal burning, since a unit of methane has the impact of at least 25 units of carbon dioxide. Industry officials agree that methane leakage is a problem, but argue we should trust companies to fix this problem, since methane is a commercial product with market value. They contend that more government regulation is not the answer.


Lee, Henry. "Market Forces Can't Fix Methane-Gas Emissions." National Interest, July 20, 2015.