Colorado, like the nation, is transitioning away from coal as a fuel for generating electricity. This is due to increased competition from other lower-cost energy sources as well as laws and regulations to protect public health and counter climate change. While this transition is creating many new opportunities, it will also result in the loss of stable, high-paying jobs and economic opportunities in communities where coal is mined and burned to fuel the economy.
In 2019, the Colorado General Assembly made a “moral commitment to assist the workers and communities that have powered Colorado for generations” by supporting “a just and inclusive transition” away from coal. It created the Office of Just Transition (OJT) and, among other things, charged it with preparing a “final just transition plan for Colorado” by the end of 2020.
This Action Plan fulfills that requirement. It is approved by the executive directors of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). It is based in large part on the Draft Colorado Just Transition Plan prepared after a year of extensive study and deliberation by the Colorado Just Transition Advisory Committee (JTAC, also created by legislation). And it reflects input from a wide range of stakeholders, issue experts, state agencies, and members of the public.