Transitioning Off Gas

Research and policy recommendations to prune
the gas system, scale electrification, and protect ratepayers.

Cascadia boasts some of the most ambitious climate pollution-cutting goals in the nation. Meeting those targets requires millions of homes and businesses to transition off gas and onto clean electricity. But the state’s gas utilities are expanding, prolonging the lifespan of the polluting gas system and creating massive financial risks for gas customers. At the same time, gas utilities are obstructing decarbonization solutions while promoting dangerous, expensive, and unproven ideas like hydrogen for home heating.

Building and incentivizing clean appliances and infrastructure for individual homes—Cascadia’s approach to date—is necessary but not sufficient to meet today’s climate challenge. It’s time for a step-change in ambition. Cascadia needs to start pruning the gas system, electrifying whole neighborhoods, and recruiting gas utilities onto “Team Climate.” Sightline’s research and analysis provides state and local leaders and climate advocates with a roadmap for getting there quickly and equitably.

For Policymakers

Memo: Accelerating an Equitable Transition Off Gas

Policy recommendations for Washington state for the 2024 legislative session

Primer: Decarbonizing with Hydrogen

What hydrogen is, different production methods, and best ways to use hydrogen

Research and Analysis 

Pruning the Gas System, Reducing Stranded Asset Risk, and Protecting Ratepayers

It’s Time for Cascadia to Start Pruning the Gas System and Electrifying Whole Neighborhoods

Early efforts in California, Colorado, and New York offer lessons to get started.

Maze of pipes sunlit against the back of a building's gray wall

It’s Time to Stop Subsidizing New Gas Pipes

Regulators across Cascadia should end line extension allowances, the subsidies ratepayers finance that expand utilities’ pipeline infrastructure.

Recruiting Gas Utilities to “Team Climate” 

Photo of a heat pump next to a white wall on top of wood bark

Without Gas, What Business Models Could Gas Utilities Pursue?

Several examples exist, and Cascadian policymakers can encourage shifts while setting guardrails to protect customers.

Aerial photo of Seattle's South Lake Union, showing a grid-like pattern of the area (save the odd road or ramp)

Is There a Future for Gas Utilities? It Could Be Heating and Cooling Your Home (from the Ground)

“GeoNetworks” are being piloted in New York and Massachusetts. Cascadia should be next.

Myth-busting Renewable Natural Gas and Hydrogen 

hydrogen tanks at the Shell station in Torrance receive their load.

No, Hydrogen Is Not the Savior Gas Utilities Are Looking For

Gas companies are making a risky bet.

A Exxon Mobil plant against gray skies

Responsibly Sourced Gas: Boon or Boondoggle?

A new certification measures the industry’s marginal progress, while buyers should keep their eyes on the true clean energy prize.

Natural gas processing plant with Renewable energy wind turbines generating electricity reflection to solar panels at sunset

The Smoke and Mirrors Defense of RNG

The gas industry is writing checks that RNG alone can’t cash.

Aerial top down view over biogas plant.

The Four Fatal Flaws of Renewable Natural Gas

Gas utilities are telling tall tales about RNG.

Get monthly updates from Climate + Energy program director Emily Moore

Follow Emily at @_enmoore_

* indicates required