Natural Gas Lock-In

63 Pages Posted: 28 May 2021 Last revised: 30 Jul 2021

Date Written: April 27, 2021


This paper argues that the multiscalar nature of the U.S. natural gas system makes gas particularly prone to lock-in. It applies scholarship focused on carbon lock-in, and argues the identified drivers of lock-in - including technology and infrastructure lock-in, institutional lock-in, legal lock-in, behavioral lock-in, and discursive lock-in - are amplified and mutually reinforcing when it comes to natural gas. The paper is designed to lay the groundwork for future scholarship aimed at developing legal tools to get Beyond Gas.

Keywords: natural gas, climate change, lock-in, path dependency

Suggested Citation

Powers, Melissa, Natural Gas Lock-In (April 27, 2021). 69 Kansas Law Review 889 (2021), Available at SSRN:

Melissa Powers (Contact Author)

Lewis & Clark Law School ( email )

10015 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd.
Portland, OR 97219
United States

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