Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
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No Standard Oil: Managing Abundant Petroleum in a Warming World

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum, 111 Thayer Street

Join us for a discussion of Deborah Gordon's new book, No Standard Oil: Managing Abundant Petroleum in a Warming World. Gordon is a Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs at the Watson Institute, and the former director of the Energy and Climate Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Discussants are Jeff Colgan, Richard Holbrooke Associate Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs and director of the Climate Solutions Lab, and Chas Freeman, Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs. Moderated by Edward Steinfeld, Howard R. Swearer Director of the Thomas J. Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.

Climate Solutions Lab
Meet the Author
Senior Fellows

About the book:

In No Standard Oil, environmental policy expert Deborah Gordon examines the widely varying climate impacts of global oils and gases, and proposes solutions to cut greenhouse gas emissions in this sector while making sustainable progress in transitioning to a carbon-free energy future.

The next decade will be decisive in the fight against climate change. It will be impossible to hold the planet to a 1.5o C temperature rise without controlling methane and CO2 emissions from the oil and gas sector. Contrary to popular belief, the world will not run out of these resources anytime soon. Consumers will continue to demand these abundant resources to fuel their cars, heat their homes, and produce everyday goods like shampoo, pajamas, and paint. But it is becoming more environmentally damaging to supply energy using technologies like fracking oil and liquefying gas. Policymakers, financial investors, environmental advocates, and citizens need to understand what oil and gas are doing to our climate to inform decision-making.

In No Standard Oil, Deborah Gordon shows that no two oils or gases are environmentally alike. Each has a distinct, quantifiable climate impact. While all oils and gases pollute, some are much worse for the climate than others. In clear, accessible language, Gordon explains the results of the Oil Climate Index Plus Gas (OCI+), an innovative, open source model that estimates global oil and gas emissions. Gordon identifies the oils and gases from every region of the globe-along with the specific production, processing, and refining activities-that are the most harmful to the planet, and proposes innovative solutions to reduce their climate footprints.

Global climate stabilization cannot afford to wait for oil and gas to run out. No Standard Oil shows how we can take immediate, practical steps to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the crucial oil and gas sector while making sustainable progress in transitioning to a carbon-free energy future.