Energy, Water, and Climate2019-08-14T13:54:54-06:00

Energy, Water, and Climate

Keystone Policy Center helps stakeholders promote resilient ecosystems and communities; foster next-generation solutions as we transition to new energy and environmental paradigms; and ensure sustainable use and equitable access to natural resources and energy systems. By 2050, the world population is expected to reach more than 9 billion, straining water, energy, and land resources. At the same time, the planet may surpass a two-degree Celsius increase over pre-industrial benchmarks. These and other changes present new challenges, requiring collaborative, novel approaches to our shared natural resources and energy systems.

Keystone has a long history of addressing these challenges, working in and at the intersection of energy, environmental, and climate issues. Keystone teams of subject matter and process experts help stakeholders identify innovative solutions to the fundamental challenges of our existing and future environment. Keystone design flexible and adaptive strategies with stakeholders from the nonprofit, government, grassroots, corporate, and philanthropic sectors, facilitating the organizational relationships and political conditions needed to respond to complex problems.

Please also visit our Public Lands page to view our work specific to public lands.

Featured Projects

Keystone Energy Board

The Keystone Energy Board is a long-standing forum for representatives across the energy sector to learn about and discuss current energy issues and examine the linkages among energy, environmental and economic policies.

The Board is comprised of roughly 55 individuals who represent different perspectives on energy policy, including people with energy policy expertise from industry, technology, environment, consumer advocacy, and state and federal government. Learn More

Keystone/EC-MAP Partnership

Keystone is partnering with The Energy Consumer-Market Alignment Project (EC-MAP), a Washington, DC-based non-profit seeking to align public policy with a digital energy future.  This collaboration is creating a forum to discuss the application of digital technologies to the energy system and build policy maps for an energy future that drives greater transparency, fair competition, and consumer choice—and where policy enables innovation instead of creating market barriers. Now more than ever, we need those skills to navigate the future of energy policy.

EC-MAP is the realization of its founder’s vision – Keystone Energy Board Member, Tom Hassenboehler. We are excited to work together, to further our shared vision for a process to harness new ideas and creative minds to identify the technology pathways and public policies needed to accelerate and capture the benefits of this new era. Learn more

GeoPolicy Connect Event

Keystone partnered with the American Geophysical Union to host its inaugural GeoPolicy Connect event focused on hydraulic fracturing and collaborative strategies to address the use of this method. The event’s conversations focused on better ways to integrate science into public policy making and how collaboration can lead to better outcomes. The event featured speakers ranging from Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to the Colorado Forum Director Gail Klapper to Christine McEntee, executive director and CEO of the American Geophysical Union.

Colorado Renewable Energy Standard

Keystone facilitated the Advisory Committee to the Director of the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) on the Effectiveness of SB13-252, the Increase of Colorado’s Renewable Energy Standard so as to Encourage the Deployment of Methane Capture Technologies.  This legislation increased the renewable energy standard for electric cooperative utilities from 10 percent to 20, to be accomplished by 2020 and expanded the definition of renewable energy to include coal mine methane and gas produced from municipal solid waste. The Advisory Committee produced a report report of key findings and recommendations to the Colorado Energy Office and Governor Hickenlooper.

Colorado Water Plan Funding Strategy

Water is critical to the future of Colorado and pressures for how water is managed throughout the state will only increase. Keystone facilitated a diverse set of leaders convened by Gates Family Foundation and Walton Family Foundation  to work to identify a viable strategy for securing funding and implementation of the Colorado Water Plan.  As the group recently completed its recommendations regarding funding priorities, Keystone is assisting with the next phase of moving those strategies forward and determining whether to pursue a legislative or ballot strategy.

Colorado Water and Growth Dialogue

By 2040, Colorado is projected to experience an approximately 70 percent increase in population and with it an assumed substantial increase in demand for water by municipalities and industry. In the semi-arid climate of the West with limited water supplies, this increase in demand will result in a well-known and pressing water-supply gap and problem for the future of Colorado. Keystone Policy Center led the Colorado Water and Growth Dialogue in its exploration of whether, and if so to what degree, the integration of water and land use planning can be utilized to reduce water demand from the development and re-development associated with the projected population increase. Learn about the Results of the Dialogue.

Grand Lake Clarity Standard Stakeholder Committee

Grand Lake is Colorado’s largest natural lake, with important recreational and aesthetic values for visitors and residents.  It is also a component of the Colorado-Big Thompson (CBT) project that delivers water and energy to the Eastern Slope. Grand Lake’s clarity is impacted by operations of the CBT system as well as by natural and seasonal factors. The Stakeholder Committee worked together to gain mutual understanding of constraints on attainability and to develop an attainable and protective clarity standard. The proposal resulting from stakeholder efforts was approved by Colorado’s Water Quality Control Commission in 2016.

Snake River Watershed Task Force

The Snake River, which flows through Keystone, CO, is impacted by mining activities that took place at the turn of the 20th century.  Keystone facilitates the Snake River Task Force, a stakeholder group that has worked to characterize the water quality issues in the Snake River basin and identify and implement appropriate mitigation projects.  The Task Force is comprised of Federal, State and local agencies, conservation organizations, and private companies.

Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science (ACCCNRS)

Keystone facilitated the Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science (ACCCNRS), which advised the Secretary of the Interior on the operations of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC) and the Department of the Interior (DOI) Climate Science Centers (CSCs).

Planning the Grid of the Future

Investment in our electricity grid has not kept pace with the changes in state and federal policies, rapidly evolving generation and demand-side technologies, or the need for a more resilient electricity delivery system. To confront these issues and lay the groundwork for a better transmission system, the Eastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative launched a groundbreaking stakeholder process to study the eastern U.S. energy resources and transmission system.

The Keystone Policy Center managed this important stakeholder process and public outreach, which spanned a series of eastern states, Canadian provinces, and 24 planning authorities. Keystone’s involvement was essential to helping stakeholders with divergent views and unique regional interests to develop consensus-based recommendations. Learn More

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Given the essential role Lake Huron plays in Michigan and beyond, Keystone partnered with the EPA and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to conduct four, one-day regional meetings during Spring 2015 to discuss restoration progress in the lake’s basin. The meetings also allowed community stakeholders and others to present the good work underway to restore the health of the lake and to hear plans for developing the binational Lake Huron Lakewide Action and Management Plan. Keystone’s work resulted in an extensive report outlining current restoration efforts and opportunities for future collaboration.