Letter: Join state Just Transition Committee in Craig and Hayden | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Join state Just Transition Committee in Craig and Hayden

Last year, the state legislature created a state Office of Just Transition. The purpose of this office is to provide support to workers and communities that will be impacted by Colorado’s transition away from coal. Routt and Moffat counties sit squarely in the center of this, which is why Moffat County Commissioner Ray Beck and myself stepped up to participate on the advisory committee for the Just Transition Office — to ensure that the voices of Northwest Colorado are heard.

The Just Transition Committee is made up of representatives from impacted communities, labor unions, Xcel, Tri-State, nonprofits and the state offices of economic development, labor and employment, local affairs and the governor’s office as well as representatives of the state House and Senate. This committee’s efforts are wholly dedicated to developing a plan that identifies what the state can do to support communities through this transition.

The situations in Routt and Moffat counties are very different from one another. Moffat County is more heavily reliant on the coal industry for both jobs and tax revenue, and Tri-State has announced a date-certain for the closure of the Craig Station.

Routt County has a bit more economic diversity and the future of the Hayden Station has not been determined. However, we know two very important things: 1) economic impacts don’t stop at county lines, and 2) whatever the business decisions of the utilities in the future, there are likely to be changes, and we should plan for them.

This week, members of the Just Transition Committee and other representatives from the state and governor’s office will be in Northwest Colorado to hear from you. Whether you are someone who will be directly impacted by the transition away from coal, you’re someone who is interested in the long-term health of our community, or you want to advocate for the future of Northwest Colorado to the state, I hope you’ll consider joining in one of the community open houses with the Just Transition Office:

• Moffat County Community Open House: 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, Craig Middle School, 915 Yampa Ave, Craig

Routt County Community Open House: 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 5, Yampa Regional Airport, 11005 Routt County Road 51A, Hayden

For more details or questions, contact cking@keystone.org or visit justtransition.cdle.co.

Beth Melton
Routt County commissioner

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