The Colorado Legislature is considering a measure to proactively help coal industry workers transition to the new energy economy by using private capital and the bond market. “The Colorado Energy Impact Assistance Act” would create low-interest bonds that utilities could use to refinance retired and expensive coal plants and use the proceeds to reinvest in natural gas, solar or wind projects. Fifteen percent of the savings would be used to help displaced workers and offset lost property tax revenue. In Colorado, where around half the coal fleet has a coming retirement date, utilities haven’t traditionally been incentivized to retire older plants early because companies are compensated for the infrastructure they build.
- World abandoning coal-fired electricity
- “It’s purely economic. The plant guys tried everything they could to keep it open, but it was a money loser. In a competitive market, you’ve got to take these steps. This is a coal plant operating in a market that’s flooded with cheap natural gas.”
- Economics, not regs., are waging a war on coal
- Xcel Energy to retire coal-fired plants, increase renewables
- Coal-fired power plant jobs continue to fade
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