Energy Communities in Transition

Photo Credit: Jackson Cooper Gango

Coal plants closing (white) and operating (yellow) as of 2019

The energy sector in the U.S. and around the globe is in transition. Coal plants are shutting down earlier than expected, and conventional electricity generation is being replaced by cleaner and less expensive energy sources like renewables (wind and solar) and natural gas. Communities home to coal mines and coal plants rely on the jobs and revenue provided by the industry, and with mine and plant closures, they will face uncertain futures. The Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) is working with coal community members and policymakers to help support community-led, equitable transitions from coal to a cleaner economy.

Explore our work below.

Our Micro-documentaries: Craig, Colorado: Coal Town in Transition

Resources for Communities in Transition

The resources in this section are for those who want to learn about legislation related to the energy transition.

Energy Transition-Related Legislation 2019-2020 (PDF)
Source: Claire Wang. Crafting Policies for a Just Transition from Coal – Lessons from State Legislation. Rocky Mountain Institute. Publication forthcoming.

State Legislation

New Mexico

Energy Transition Act 2020 SB489


HB19-1314: Just Transition from Coal-based Electrical Energy Economy Act 2019;


HF19-1842: Solar Energy Incentive Program Creating Community Energy Transition


HB19-467: Authorize Securitization for Energy Infrastructure

New York

Transition Support Mechanisms for Communities Facing Full or Partial Coal Power Plant Retirement in New York (March 2017)

Federal Legislation

Marshall Plan for Coal Country Act of 2020 (S.4306)

Policy Ideas

Economic Development Policies to Enable Fairness for Workers and Communities in Transition (RFF/EDF 2020)

National Economic Transition Platform – Just Transition Fund

Securitization: A Finance Tool for Energy Transition, Powder River Basin Resource Council (Video)

Regulatory Assistance Program (RAP)

Environmental Defense Fund – Economic Development Policies for Communities in Transition

Photo Credit: Jackson Cooper Gango

2020 Energy Transition Academy

An energy transition is underway in America. Coal-reliant towns are facing mine and plant closures – mostly impacting rural areas. What can be done to help workers and communities remain resilient during this turbulent time? How can policymakers best help coal-reliant communities plan proactively for a successful future?

To address these questions and more, the Center for the New Energy Economy developed the Energy Transition Academy: Community Resilience Solutions for Policymakers. This Academy was an invitation-only series of eight webinars developed for Western policymakers. Five of these webinars were educational, featuring guest speakers and Q&A and were recorded (available below). Three unrecorded webinars provided opportunities for follow-up questions to our experts and for community discussion. Participants included a bipartisan group of state legislators, county commissioners, tribal leaders, state energy office representatives, and public utilities commissioners. These meetings helped participants build state and regional networks around the variety of issues associated with transitions and our experts from around the country provided important resources to enable communities to proactively address an energy transition. 


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