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 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.

  • oil in Great Plains
    Article August 12, 2014
    Underestimating Oil and Water Challenges in the Northern Great Plains

    An oil production boom in the Northern Great Plains is threatening the region’s water resources. Comprehensive management is needed to mitigate the risks.

  • Energy Information Administration (EIA) July 7, 2014
    EIA Public Comments on “Monthly Natural Gas Production Report”

    Additional reporting specifications for state level oil data are needed in order to account for the extreme variety in U.S. and global oils.

  • Eurasia Outlook May 13, 2014
    Understanding the Risks of Sanctioning Russian Oil

    Sanctioning Russia’s oil remains on the table, but playing this card comes with serious economic risk for all.

  • Article May 6, 2014 中文
    China’s Oil Future

    China has a nearly insatiable thirst for energy. The investments and oils pursued to meet this demand will have global economic, environmental, and security implications.

  • Op-Ed Inside Sources April 28, 2014
    U.S. Crude Policy Driven by Data

    The debate on oil exports necessitates more and better data than is currently available. The United States must be a global leader in the oil sector, which requires careful consideration of new and better data.

  • 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.

  • 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 2, 2014 Washington, DC
    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.

  • September 24, 2012 Washington, D.C.
    A Policy Framework for Electric Vehicles

    Plug-in electric vehicles stand to both revolutionize American transportation and to have implications for electric utilities, automakers, and the oil and gas industry as well.

  • February 8, 2012 Washington, D.C.
    Unconventional Oil: Illuminating the Global Paradigm Shift to New Petroleum Fuels

    Despite expert warnings, global policymaking communities lack a comprehensive understanding of the changing composition of their oil supplies and their impact on the climate.

  • January 26, 2012 Washington, D.C.
    Turning the Right Corner: Ensuring Development Through a Low-Carbon Transport Sector

    The World Bank report examines the intersection of transport, growth, and carbon emissions, compares transport sectors in developed and developing countries, and calls for broad sector reform.


Carnegie Oil Initiative

Areas of Expertise

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