Deborah Gordon

Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs, Senior Principal, Climate Intelligence Program, RMI
Research Interests Energy & Environment, Science & Technology Policy, Supply Chains, Technology & Innovation
Areas of Interest Energy innovation, climate policy, oil and gas sector, science and technology


Deborah Gordon is the Senior Principal in the Climate Intelligence Program at RMI. She formerly served as Director of the Energy and Climate Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She is the author of several books, including "No Standard Oil: Managing Abundant Petroleum in a Warming World," Oxford University Press, 2021. After beginning her career with Chevron, Gordon managed an energy and environmental consulting practice, taught at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and directed the Energy Policy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Gordon regularly testifies before Congress, collaborates with government agencies, industry, and NGOs, and has served on National Academy of Sciences committees. Gordon’s op-eds, articles, and quotes have appeared in The National Interest, The Hill, Pacific Standard, Financial Times, Scientific American, International Economy Magazine, About Oil, Boao Review, Xinghua News, Huffington Post, Newsweek, Time, Washington Post, and New York Times. She has been featured on ABC News, PBS Great Decisions, NPR’s To the Point and E&E TV's On Point.


  • Serving as Principal Investigator on the Oil Climate Project, a research initiative aimed at developing new knowledge and indicators using a novel systems approach so that stakeholders can make more strategic and sustainable environmental decisions throughout the petroleum sector

  • Researching global opportunities to reduce climate impacts in the petroleum sector and expanding the Oil Climate Index Plus Gas (OCI+), a first-of-its-kind analytic tool to assess and compare the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions throughout the oil and gas supply chain

  • Writing a new book, There Is No Standard Oil, based on extensive research findings from the Oil Climate Project, under contract at Oxford University Press with expected publication in 2021 

  • Collaborating with NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System scientists to assess methane emission impacts from global oil and gas operations

  • Conducting research on the impacts vehicle electrification will have on the oil transition strategy in order to advance a low-carbon economy

  • Investigating carbon and methane pricing that fairly assess fees across the oil and gas supply chain


  • No Standard Oil: Managing Abundant Petroleum in a Warming World (Oxford University Press: New York) 2021
  • Methane emissions in the United States, Canada, and Mexico: evaluation of national methane emission inventories and 2010–2017 sectoral trends by inverse analysis of in situ (GLOBALVIEWplus CH4 ObsPack) and satellite (GOSAT) atmospheric observations, (with X. Lu, et. al.), Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, January 2022 
  • A Gridded Inventory of Canada’s Anthropogenic Methane Emissions, with (T. Scarpelli, et. al.,) Environmental Research Letters, December 2021
  • Updated Global Fuel Exploitation Inventory (GFEI) for methane emissions from the oil, gas, and coal sectors: evaluation with inversions of atmospheric methane observations, (with T. Scarpelli, et. al.,), Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, October 2021  
  • Multi-satellite Imaging of a Gas Well Blowout Enables Quantification of Total Methane Emissions, (with D. Cusworth, et. al.,) Geophysical Research Letters, December 2020 
  • Global Carbon Intensity of Crude Oil Refining and Mitigation Potential, (with J. Bergerson, et. al.,), Nature Climate Change, June 2020
  • Global Carbon Intensity of Crude Oil Production, (with M. Masnadi, et. al.), Science, August 2018

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