Megan E. Hansen

  • Research Director, Center for Growth and Opportunity, Utah State University

Megan Hansen earned her MA at Utah State University in economics with an emphasis in public choice. She is currently the research director at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University. She was previously the director of policy at Strata, a non-profit located in Logan, Utah that does research on energy and environmental policy. She has also been a policy analyst at Strata and a participant in the Liberty at Work program through the Charles Koch Foundation. Megan earned her BA from USU with double-majors in economics and international studies and minors in political science and Spanish. Megan was a Mercatus Center Frédéric Bastiat fellow.

Publications & Appearances

Getting More Out of State Transportation Infrastructure Spending

States face a variety of challenges related to transportation funding and management. This means that policymakers must consider solutions that give better incentives to all parties involved. Limiting the federal role in transportation spending to interstate highway funding would be a start. Granting local governments and private companies greater control over transportation spending would go further toward encouraging development shaped by resident preferences.

How to Fix Roads and Bridges without Increasing the Fuel Tax: Reform Federal Highway Policy and Use the Savings for Roads

As gas prices have fallen throughout the country, in some states dipping below $2 per gallon, proposals to raise the tax on gasoline have become more politically palatable. Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have proposed raising the tax to increase funding for America’s aging infrastructure. Before resorting to raising the tax burden on the American public, Congress should explore ways it can free up more money for highway projects by reducing the regulatory burden on federally funded highway projects.

Logan City’s Adventures in Micro-Hydropower: How Federal Regulations Discourage Renewable Energy Development

In 2004 Logan, Utah, saw the opportunity to place a turbine within the city’s culinary water system. The turbine would reduce excess water pressure and would generate clean, low-cost electricity for the city’s residents. Federal funding was available, and the city qualified for a grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Unfortunately, Logan City found that a complex and costly federal nexus of regulatory requirements must be met before any hydropower project can be licensed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This regulation drove up costs in terms of time and money and, as a result, Logan City is not planning to undertake any similar projects in the future. Other cities have had similar experiences to Logan’s, and we briefly explore these as well. We find that regulation is likely deterring the development of small hydropower potential across the United States, and that reform is warranted.