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.
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