Colorado created the Office of Just Transition in 2019 to assist workers and communities that will be adversely affected by the loss of jobs and revenues due to the closure of coal mines and coal-fired power plants. Its purpose is to help workers continue to thrive by transitioning to good new jobs, and to help communities continue to thrive by expanding and attracting diverse businesses, creating jobs, and replacing lost revenues.
As market forces, along with health and environmental imperatives, move our nation away from the use of coal, approximately 2,000 Colorado workers stand to lose well-paying jobs. And the communities where they work and live stand to lose significant percentages of their job base and property tax revenues.
Eight coal-fired electrical power generating plants and six coal mines remained in Colorado in 2019. All 14 facilities were concentrated in ten counties -- El Paso, Gunnison, La Plata, Larimer, Moffat, Montrose, Morgan, Pueblo, Rio Blanco, and Routt. Workers lived in these or neighboring counties (including Delta County).
In 2019, the Colorado General Assembly passed and Governor Jared Polis signed House Bill 19-1314, which made a “moral commitment” to a “just transition” for these workers and communities. In addition to the Office of Just Transition, the bill created the Just Transition Advisory Committee to help develop a plan for how the state will fulfill this commitment.
We want to hear from you!
In August, 2020, the Just Transition Advisory Committee (JTAC) submitted its draft plan with 11 proposed recommendations for assisting coal-transition workers and coal-transition communities. Now we need your help. Please review the proposed recommendations in the draft plan and give us your feedback. Our comment period begins on September 15 and ends on November 30, 2020.
This feedback will inform the final Colorado Just Transition Plan that will be sent to the Governor and the Colorado Legislature at the end of 2020.