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Deborah Gordon

Deborah Gordon

Senior Principal
  • Climate Intelligence

Deborah Gordon is a Senior Principal in the Climate Intelligence Program at Rocky Mountain Institute where she is leading RMI’s Oil and Gas Solutions Initiative. Gordon also serves as a senior fellow at the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University and the principal investigator for the Oil Climate Project. Her research has spearheaded the development of the Oil Climate Index Plus Gas (OCI+), a first-of-its-kind analytic tool that compares the lifecycle climate impacts of global oil and gas resources.

Background

Gordon is the former director of the Energy and Climate Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Trained as a chemical engineer and policy analyst, Gordon works on global oil and gas issues relating to climate change. 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 is currently a stakeholder in NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System program, and she has testified before Congress and served on National Academy of Sciences panels. She has co-authored articles in numerous academic journals, is published and quoted in media outlets, and is currently writing her third book, featuring her research on oil, gas, and climate change.

Education

MPP, Public Policy, UC Berkeley

BS, Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder

Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honorary Society

Location

Providence, Rhode Island

Authored Works
Blog

Russia is Heating Up—Cutting Methane from Oil and Gas is the Cure

Few have heard of Taymyr, a northern Russian province located at the mouth of the Arctic Ocean. Here, land temperatures have already hurdled past a perilous point by about 4.5°C since 1960. Despite these alarming numbers, Taymyr is also where Russia is planning to build fifteen new towns, a…

Blog

It’s Time for California to Face Its Dirty Oil Problem

A ruptured oil pipeline off the coast of Orange County, California, has spilled as much as 126,000 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean, closing beaches and threatening wildlife. The spill—the state’s largest in almost three decades—emanated from a damaged pipeline that carries oil to shore from an…

Blog

Climate TRACE Lifts the Veil on Oil and Gas Emissions

When it comes to climate, oil and gas are the 800-pound gorilla in the room. The production and refining processes for oil and gas account for about one-tenth of human-made greenhouse gases (GHGs), making the sector one of the world’s largest emitters. But it is far less clear where in…

Railway station and gas-processing factory on horizon.
Blog

The Methane Moment: An Interview with Debbie Gordon

Debbie Gordon is a senior principal in the Climate Intelligence Program at RMI, where she leads the Oil and Gas Solutions Initiative. Gordon also serves as a senior fellow at the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University and the principal investigator for the Oil Climate Project. This interview was conducted by RMI Editorial Director Christian Roselund.

Blog

Methane: A Threat to People and Planet

Methane is out of control and we need to manage it—to protect people and the planet. This main component of natural or fossil gas is a vastly more potent warming agent than CO2 over short timeframes, is accompanied by highly toxic chemicals, and when leaked can be a major health…

high-quality 3d image of satellite
Blog

For Emissions Monitoring, Satellites Shouldn’t Fly Solo

Monitoring greenhouse gas emissions from space is taking off. While it used to take a decade or more to design, build, and launch a new satellite, it now takes half that time. A proliferation of public- and private-led satellite efforts are becoming operational to measure methane, carbon dioxide, and other…