Carlos R. Romo

Carlos R. Romo


Phone: 303-861-2828 ext. 2531

Federal Lands

Energy and Natural Resources


Carlos Romo is nationally recognized in energy, environmental, and natural resources law. He helps clients in a variety of industries navigate complex regulatory requirements, and has particular expertise in oil and gas disputes, state and federal permitting, environmental due diligence in M&A and real estate transactions, agency enforcement, and state and federal litigation and class action matters. His clients include construction companies, developers, utilities, water authorities, oil and gas companies, renewable energy developers, trade associations, mining companies, refineries and chemical companies, land and building owners, and resort operators.

Carlos previously worked in the energy and natural resources practice at Baker Botts in Austin, Texas. Prior to that he clerked for Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson on the Texas Supreme Court. Carlos is an Adjunct Professor of Law at The University of Colorado School of Law where he teaches Public Lands and Resources Law. Carlos has been recognized by Chambers U.S.A., 5280 Magazine, Best Lawyers in America, and Super Lawyers as a top natural resources and environmental lawyer.


Building Energy Efficiency. Carlos was engaged by building owners early on in evaluating legality of and compliance with first-of-their kind building energy efficiency programs in Colorado with a focus on the Energize Denver Ordinance and Colorado Energy Office Regulation 28. He has helped owners navigate exemptions for manufacturing and industrial use and has advocated on behalf of clients to streamline compliance pathways.

Oil and Gas Disputes. Carlos is actively involved in many oil and gas disputes, including disagreements over siting, surface use, breach of contract, nuisance and trespass litigation, and royalty class actions. Clients rely on Carlos’ familiarity with agreements in the upstream and midstream context to help navigate complex breach of contract actions. He has represented both landowners and operators and has litigated oil and gas issues in state and federal trial and appellate courts.

Carlos’ experience includes state and federal class actions involving royalties, deductions, farm-out and exploration agreements, and marketing issues in oil and gas production.

Clean Air Act. Carlos has over 15 years of experience working on Clean Air Act matters. He is particularly knowledgeable about regulations, permitting, and enforcement matters targeting emissions from power plants, refineries and processing plants, and oil and gas sources. Most recently, he assisted clients navigate Colorado Aid Quality Control Commission contested rulemakings related to environmental justice, ozone nonattainment, and regional haze. He has substantial air quality and permitting experience in Texas and Wyoming.

Water. Carlos’ water practice includes water rights and water quality permitting under state water rights frameworks and federal Clean Water Act discharge and wetlands permits. He has extensive experience in obtaining water rights with impacts on endangered species and in conducting due diligence and negotiating a variety of agreements in water- related transactions. He has substantial experience in stormwater permitting and enforcement matters.

Waste. Carlos is uniquely familiar with regulatory requirements related to solid waste disposal and recycling. He recently negotiated a complex purchase agreement of a significant former chemical manufacturing facility in Texas. He served as lead counsel for a group of state and national trade associations on a Colorado rulemaking regulating technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials (TENORM). Throughout his career, Carlos has worked closely with clients using innovative technologies to recycle waste products into beneficial products, whether it is recycling produced water for reuse in oil and gas operations or spent catalysts to recover precious metals. Carlos is deeply familiar with CERCLA and RCRA permitting and litigation matters, and he helped resolve legacy environmental liabilities tied to a copper mining company in a $1.5 billion bankruptcy proceeding.

Endangered Species Act. Some of Carlos’ most signature environmental permitting and litigation matters involve endangered species. He was instrumental in drafting innovative “hybrid” conservation agreements for the dunes sagebrush lizard and lesser prairie chicken. One of his major successes was the appeal of an adverse order involving water rights and alleged impacts on endangered whooping cranes. His river authority client played a key role in overturning the order in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Carlos helped defend the judgment in the U.S. Supreme Court. Carlos assists clients obtain ESA Section 7 and Section 10 incidental take permits for infrastructure projects, and recently helped a renewable energy company obtain conservation credits to enable construction of a 522MW wind farm.

Natural Resources Transactions. Carlos has substantial experience in a variety of natural resource transactions involving oil and gas companies (upstream, midstream, and downstream), gas stations, wind energy developers, ski and golf club resorts, water and waste entities. Clients rely on Carlos’ aptitude for analyzing complex environmental and natural resource regulatory requirements in due diligence and negotiating deal documents to manage regulatory risks.

Carlos’ most recent deals include: conducting water rights diligence across several states (with a focus on Texas) for private equity group acquisition of golf resorts; evaluating risks and negotiating agreements for purchase of contaminated property for a new ammonia plant; drafting and negotiating a conservation credit agreement for a 522MW wind farm; analyzing and drafting indemnity provisions for an acquisition of a 500-mile oil pipeline; and performing environmental due diligence on deals involving multiple ski and golf club resorts on public lands.


J.D. (with honors), The University of Texas School of Law, 2007

B.A. (with honors), Stanford University, 1999 Fulbright Scholar (Uruguay)

Publications, Speeches, and Presentations

Federal Authorizations for Energy Projects, Evolving Trends in Federal Natural Resources Law, January 2022

Backseat Driver No More! The Expanding Role of State and Local Government in

Reducing Methane Emissions, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Annual Institute, July 2021

Much Ado About CEQ: The Uncertain Effects of NEPA Streamlining Regulations, American Bar Association Section on Energy Environment & Resources, May 2020

Recent Developments in NEPA, December 2019

Recent Developments in Clean Water Act Permitting & Litigation, Colorado Bar Association Section on Natural Resources & Environmental Law, April 2019

Co-Chair, Administrative Law and Natural Resources Development Special Institute, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, February 2019

A Year for the Birds: ESA Developments and a New Interpretation of MBTA, American Bar Association Section on Energy Environment & Resources, February 2018

Implications of Recent Nuisance and Trespass Cases, Law360 “Expert Analysis” July 2017

Administration Announces Far-reaching Air Regulations for Oil & Gas Exploration, Production, and Transportation Industry, Environmental Update, May 2016

EPA Regulation of Existing Oil & Gas Sources: Immediate and Long-Term Challenges, Bloomberg’s Daily Environment Report, September 2015

EPA’s ‘Blueprint’ for Regulation of Methane from Oil and Gas Sources, BNA Environment, February 2015

Nuisance Law: Key Developments and Emerging Issues, February 2015

Permitting & Siting Energy Projects: ESA, MBTA, & Other Issues, February 2015

Mexico Energy Reform and U.S. Presidential Permits for Cross-Border Projects, BNA Environment, January 2015

Fracking From the Frontlines: A Review of Key Hydraulic Fracturing Issues, Including the Interaction of Local, State and Federal Law and Cross – Cutting Regulatory Developments, October 2014

Analysis: Are We There Yet? Carbon Capture Sequestration and Cost-Effectiveness Analyses, July 2014

Analysis: Hydraulic Fracturing, Uncooperative Federalism and Technological Innovation, Law360, April 2014

Hydraulic Fracturing, Uncooperative Federalism, and Technological Innovation, Journal of Environmental & Energy Law, March 2014

Law360 Analysis: Debunking the Myth Of Hydraulic Fracturing, August 2013

Playing to Win and Planning the End Game: The Critical Role of Process, Procedural Options, Forum Selection and Appeals to State and Federal Levels, November 2010

Bar and Court Admissions

State Bar of Colorado –Natural Resources & Environmental Law Section

State Bar of Texas – Environmental and Natural Resources Law, Administrative Law and Appellate Law Sections

United States District Court for the District of Colorado United States District Court for the District of Columbia

United States District Courts for the Southern and Western Districts of Texas

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for Tenth Circuit

Other Professional Affiliations

Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, President (2022)

Adjunct Professor of Natural Resources Law, University of Colorado School of Law

Colorado Access to Justice Commission, Pro Bono Committee

University of Texas School of Law Alumni Association Executive Committee

Leadership Conference on Legal Diversity, Fellow

Honors and Distinctions

Chambers U.S.A.

Finalist, Austin Under 40 (Legal Category)

Super Lawyer-Rising Star in Environmental Litigation Best Lawyers, Natural Resources Law (“Lawyer of the Year 2022 in Energy Regulatory Law”)

5280 Magazine, Top Natural Resources and Environmental Lawyer in Denver


Fluent in Spanish


best-Lawyers top-lawyers Super Lawyers

Our Location

1801 California Street, Suite 3400
Denver, Colorado 80202

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Phone 303.861.2828
Fax 303.861.4017

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