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White Papers

Regulators Taking Aim at Methane Emissions


This ICF International white paper examines the methodology differentiate between various components of lost and unaccounted for (LAUF) gas and the ways it will prepare state and local distribution companies to better manage emissions and prepare for possible U.S. federal regulation requirements.

As both federal and state regulators focus on methane emissions, understanding how much natural gas is lost from local distribution systems is assuming greater importance. But major inconsistencies in how various entities count this lost gas and the resulting emissions can swing estimates by a factor of two or more with billions of dollars of potential compliance and ratepayer cost in the balance.

LAUF often is used as a surrogate for emissions, which is incorrect. In order to inform smarter regulations and lower costs, ICF proposes a methodology that more accurately and consistently reflects what is lost to the atmosphere versus other adjustments that contribute to LAUF and is potentially preventable.