Alan J. Gilbert

Legal Secretary: Erika Cwetna


Alan helps private businesses, municipal entities and others solve complex legal and practical problems. He works most often in the energy, environmental and natural resources sectors. Alan's work on behalf of his clients often involves government agencies and large and complex groups of other interested parties.

Alan has represented clients in private practice for more than 25 years. He has also worked for more than 10 years in various government positions. In his government service, Alan has been the Solicitor General of the State of Colorado, the Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Ken Salazar in Washington, DC, and the Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Interior for the Southwest and Rocky Mountain Regions.

Alan brings an insider's perspective to significant legal and practical problems involving government agencies at all levels. He knows from firsthand experience how federal, state and local government officials approach the substantial and important challenges they face. He also knows how government agencies at all levels interact with each other in complex situations.

Alan has long experience in the private energy development sector. He has worked with oil and gas companies, public and private utilities, renewable energy companies and mining businesses, among others.

Alan has extensive experience working with state and federal agencies, on behalf of manufacturers and other businesses, to secure permits and licenses. He has undertaken many and varied administrative proceedings involving both new regulations and enforcement proceedings. Alan also has substantial experience litigating on behalf of his clients, as necessary, in federal and state trial and appellate courts and in administrative proceedings.

Oil and Gas Industry. Alan helps the oil and gas industry tackle environmental, regulatory and government-related challenges. His experience includes energy facility siting and permitting on public and private lands, climate change issues, air quality and water quality issues, and NEPA compliance. Alan has worked in the oil and gas sector on major projects ranging from revising state oil and gas regulations to advising about climate change legislation to solving air quality problems.

Alan recently served in the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission as Special Assistant to the Executive Director for Flood Response. In this role, he helped Colorado respond to the disastrous flood of September 2013. Much of his effort in this position was spent assisting the oil and gas industry to recover from the floodwaters.

Public and Private Utilities. While working in private practice, Alan has represented public and private utilities in the Western United States and internationally. He has helped utilities, including electricity-generating and water supply entities, handle a full range of environmental issues.

As an example of his work in this area, Alan represents a municipal utility undertaking a new, large and complex water supply pipeline. He has advised this entity as NEPA counsel and he has helped municipal officials navigate other complex legal and practical issues associated with this significant project.

Renewable Energy. Alan's years of experience serving in state and federal government includes substantial work addressing siting and environmental review considerations in the renewable energy sector. During his years working with the federal government, Alan assisted with significant and successful efforts, as directed by the President of the United States, to open the federal public land domain to diverse renewable energy development and transmission.

Mining. Alan has represented hard rock and other mining companies for many years, principally in the environmental and public land areas. He has handled many environmental matters for mining companies including major CERCLA sites, RCRA issues, and Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act and PCB issues, among others.

Manufacturing and Other Commercial Business Interests. Throughout his career, Alan has represented large and small private businesses and individuals in a wide range of environmental and other matters. His experience includes representing clients in major complex Superfund proceedings that involve various levels of government as well as large groups of potentially responsible parties. Alan has represented clients in large Natural Resource Damage matters under CERCLA.

In these situations, Alan has been involved in many varied private and public settlements, many unilateral order proceedings, and many litigated cases.

Government Service

  • Special Assistant to the Executive Director for Flood Response, Colorado Department of Natural Resources, 2013-2014
  • Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Interior for the Southwest and Rocky Mountain Region, 2010-2013
  • Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Ken Salazar, 2005-2006
  • Solicitor General of the State of Colorado, 2000-2005


  • "An Introduction to Geology and Hard Rock Mining," Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Science and Technology Series, Editor, 1998
  • "Mining Environmental Handbook," Imperial College Press, Chapter Editor, 1997
  • "Law of Environmental Protection," Environmental Law Institute, Editor of Air Pollution Sections

Speaking Engagements

  • "Natural Resources Practitioner in Residence," University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Adjunct Professor, 2008-2009
  • "Environmental Law," University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Lecturer, 1980s-2000
  • "Energy and Environment," University of Denver College of Business Administration, Adjunct Professor, 1985-1987


  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Past Chair of the Membership Committee, Past Trustee at Large of the Executive Council
  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Journal, Past Editorial Board Member
  • Environmental Law Institute, Past Member of Board of Financial Advisers
  • National Chamber Litigation Center, Past Environmental Advisory Board Member
  • Colorado Bar Association Environmental Law Section, Past President
  • H2Technology, Past Advisory Member on Board of Directors


  • Elected to American College of Environmental Lawyers, 2009
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America since its inception until leaving private practice in 2000; renewed listing in 2009.
  • Named to Chambers USA 2007 and 2009 editions
  • Named an Advocate to the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute at the University of Boulder
  • Commendation from the Colorado Freedom of Information Council for work as co-chair of the Columbine Records Review Task Force, 2003
  • Recipient of Vice President Gore's Inventing Government Award, National Performance Review, for work with the North Boulder Project Team, 1995