Deborah Gordon

Energy and Climate Program
Gordon is director of Carnegie’s Energy and Climate Program, where her research focuses on oil and climate change issues in North America and globally.


MPP, University of California, Berkeley
BS, University of Colorado, Boulder




Deborah Gordon is director of Carnegie’s Energy and Climate Program, where her research focuses on oil and climate change issues in North America and globally. 

Gordon has managed an active energy and environmental consulting practice, taught at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and directed the Energy Policy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. She began her career with Chevron. She is the author of two books, Steering a New Course and Two Billion Cars (with Daniel Sperling), and numerous other publications.

  • Op-Ed Oil July 8, 2015
    At the Heart of OPEC: Strategies and Reflections

    OPEC is being challenged on many fronts. In order to survive, the organization may need to innovate, regroup, restructure, and renew its mission.

  • Op-Ed Christian Science Monitor June 21, 2015
    In New Energy Era, What Counts as ‘Oil’?

    From its sheer volumes to what it’s made of and its environmental impacts, the next century of oil will likely be very different from the last.

  • Op-Ed National Interest May 5, 2015
    Avoiding an Oil-Climate Collision

    Oil data transparency and oil-climate oversight deserve a seat at the upcoming climate talks this winter. While worldwide economic dependence on oil presents barriers, the global economic risks of climate change requires strategic navigation.

  • Report March 11, 2015 Full Text
    Know Your Oil: Creating a Global Oil-Climate Index

    Oil is changing. Conventional oil resources are dwindling as tight oil, oil sands, heavy oils, and others emerge.

  • Op-Ed Scientific American January 30, 2015
    Beyond Oil Sands: The Carbonates are Coming

    The Keystone XL pipeline is a canary in the mine. It is a warning of what’s to come.

  • Op-Ed Boao Review January 5, 2015
    Insecurity from Asia’s Growing Oil Imbalance

    As many economies across Asia are slowing, it is an opportune time to think strategically about physical resource limitations, associated environmental concerns, and evolving geopolitical realities.

  • Article January 5, 2015
    The Abundance of Oils in the Water-Stressed Rockies

    Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming are stocked with about every type of unconventional oil known today. The states are also ground zero for new oil and water challenges.

  • Op-Ed National Interest January 2, 2015
    Drama at the Gas Pump: The Curse of High and Low Energy Prices

    American consumers, industries, and policymakers cannot allow themselves to be seduced by short-term, reactive thinking when it comes to oil.

  • Testimony House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Energy and Power Subcommittee December 11, 2014
    Shaping U.S. Energy Policy For an Era of Energy Abundance

    Oils are changing. A more complex array of hydrocarbon resources is replacing conventional oils. The truth is that precious little is known about these new resources.

  • Op-Ed Hill October 27, 2014
    How Low Oil Price Will Impact Climate Change

    There are four categories of crude oils that pose the biggest climate gamble. Unfortunately the market doesn’t necessarily and consistently factor in the environmental damage individual crudes cause.

  • Environment & Energy TV March 11, 2015
    Industry Lacking Transparency

    As the range of oils and extraction methods continues to evolve, how do various oils compare with one another on their climate impacts?

  • Unconventional oil is redefining what oil is.
    U.S. Embassy Berlin September 12, 2012
    From Conventional to Unconventional Oil

    The shift from extracting, processing, and consuming conventional fuel sources to unconventional oils carries a host of still unknown consequences for international economics, technology development, and the environment.

  • E&E News May 15, 2012
    The Future of Unconventional Oil in the United States

    Significant policy, climate, and economic challenges face the use of unconventional oil as a new energy resource.

  • Deborah Gordon
    NPR's To the Point July 15, 2011
    Carmageddon and Global Congestion

    As the recent freeway closure in Los Angeles draws attention to America's reliance on the automobile, it should also prompt policymakers to consider the long-term challenge of global automobile proliferation.

  • April 13, 2015 Brussels
    The New Age of Oil: Climate Impact and Policy Responses

    Oil is changing. The oils themselves, how they are extracted and processed, and the products into which they are made are shifting in substantial ways.

  • March 11, 2015 Washington, DC
    Oil-Climate Index Release

    Oil is changing. The oils themselves, how they are extracted and processed, and the products into which they are made are shifting in substantial ways.

  • January 23, 2015 Washington, DC
    Global Oil and the Middle East Economic Outlook

    The steady decline of global oil prices since June 2014 is shifting economic, political, and strategic calculations of key Middle East actors, and adding a new element of uncertainty at a time of increased regional conflict and polarization.

  • December 3, 2014
    Environmental Implications of the Global Oil Paradigm Shift

    Different oils have different environmental impacts, as do their products. These must be taken into account when writing energy policies.

  • December 2, 2014 Washington, DC 中文
    China Oil Forum

    With China’s economy slowing after decades of double-digit growth, now is the time to think strategically about how the nation will deal with its physical resource limitations, their associated environmental concerns, and oil’s evolving geopolitical realities. The China Oil Forum will engage key thinkers, policymakers, and civil society in a discussion about these strategic questions.

  • July 24, 2014 Washington, DC
    The New Geopolitics of Energy: Challenges and Opportunities

    Ambassador Pascual shared his perspectives on some of the key energy issues during his tenure at the Bureau of Energy Resources at the State Department, as well as ongoing energy challenges.

  • May 8, 2014 Washington, DC 中文
    China’s Oil Future: Balancing Economic, Geopolitical, and Environmental Concerns

    China’s energy future will be shaped by its major oil ambitions, including the opportunity to exploit newly accessible domestic resources.

  • February 18, 2014 Brussels
    EU Energy Exchange

    The EU could serve as a bridge to a more balanced approach to future energy supply and demand policies, infrastructure investments, and market outcomes.

  • Transport Beyond Oil
    March 22, 2013 Washington, DC
    Transport Beyond Oil

    Seventy percent of the oil America uses each year is consumed by transportation. Any effective strategy to meet U.S. and global climate protection goals therefore requires that oil consumption in the transport sector be significantly reduced.

  • January 24, 2013 Washington, D.C.
    The Next Generation of Russian Oil: Will the Future Be Unconventional?

    It remains to be seen whether Russia will continue to give high priority to Arctic oil development if the tight-oil revolution from North America spreads quickly to Russia, driving a renaissance of West Siberia.


Carnegie Oil Initiative

Oil-Climate Index

Oil-Climate Index

Areas of Expertise

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
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