Issue: Resource Management Section: Advisory Board
Kelly de la Torre
Kelly de la Torre is an attorney with ALG | Attorneys in Colorado, a Denver-based law firm founded in 2008. The attorneys at ALG believe in collaborative implementation. They work together to blend insights, innovation, and expertise to leverage the team’s goal-oriented strategy for the benefit of the firm’s business clients. The ALG strategic approach lets the attorneys be a more powerful partner in service of business growth and momentum.
De la Torre has a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and a Master of Science in chemistry. During graduate school, she worked as a research fellow in the Fuel Science Department at Sandia National Laboratories designing biomimetic catalysts for CO2 activation. The goal of the project was to design a catalyst to convert CO2 to a reusable fuel source. So began de la Torre’s interest in energy and energy systems.
While assessing the ultimate goal of her research, Kelly wondered, “What if emerging technology could be developed that would reduce U.S. oil consumption? What would that do to the world’s politics?” It was then that de la Torre read The Prize, Daniel Yergin’s 1992 Pulitzer Prize winning book about the history of oil; she then and took her first steps into the world of energy policy.
She attended Rutgers-Camden School of Law in Camden, New Jersey. While in law school, she worked as a technical advisor on patent litigation cases. After graduation, she moved to Denver and landed her first job as an attorney working with the McIntosh Group. The group focused on commercialization of energy technologies primarily in the energy space including, innovations in electrical power cable technology and wind and solar technologies.
De la Torre has a true admiration for inventors and the challenges that they face in bringing their products to market. Some of these barriers can be addressed through policies designed to create demand for the product and others through creative partnerships and consumer education. She uses her technical background and these strategies to assist companies in overcoming barriers to market penetration.
Energy influences every part of our lives. It is a complex landscape of integrated and moving parts where the equilibrium is constantly challenged by emerging energy needs and policy changes. It is the intersection between business, law and policy that de la Torre finds most intriguing, and it is this intersection that can be used to engage the energy consumer. Consumers should understand that they can influence policy; however, this influence should be informed influence because good energy policies can lead to efficient and cost effective energy initiatives and decisions. This is why when asked to participate in the “Connect and Collaborate with ICOSA” radio show, she jumped at the chance to start the recurring segment entitled Energy 101. Jan Mazotti, ICOSA editor and de la Torre use the show to discuss energy from the perspective of the consumer.
In her law practice, de la Torre advocates on behalf of her clients for statutory and regulatory changes to support emerging business models in the energy sector. This type of effective advocacy however, requires a broad understanding of how business, law and policy intersect across the energy spectrum. To help facilitate a better understanding of this intersection, she tracks emerging regulatory and statutory changes on her blog, the “Rocky Mountain Energy Blog” which can be found at http://rmenergyblog.blogspot.com.
Complex issues further require collaboration. To provide a forum to facilitate discussion amongst women in the energy industry, she co-founded Women in Energy, a networking group for women. In addition, since its inception, de la Torre has been actively involved with the annual Global New Energy Summit, an event that highlights the energy spectrum in the states of New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming. The event brings together the key elements that facilitate energy development, specifically science and technology, finance, industry and policy. Coordinating the leadership across these disciplines encourages collaboration that is necessary to address the changing energy landscape in the region and the nation and is a key goal supported by her and the summit.