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There are estimated to be more than a thousand ghost towns in Colorado.

Each one represents a failed economic transition. So for Craig, Colorado, the stakes are clear.

Transitions need support like government funding, economic development, and community investments.

But help is on the way.

In 2019, Colorado created the first state-level Office of Just Transition in the nation. It was designed to help coal towns like Craig plan and strategize for the future. In the early going, the office didn't have any funding. It didn't have anyone to run it. And a global pandemic was on the horizon.

Enter Wade Buchanan.

He's a longtime Colorado policy pro who stepped in to run the office. He wanted to show that the government could deliver for Craig and other rural coal communities. He wanted to help. Would it be enough?

Wade Buchanan, Director, Colorado Office of Just Transition
Duane Highley, CEO, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association
Jennifer Holloway, Executive Director, Craig Chamber of Commerce
Bob Rankin, State Senator, Colorado District 8

Bonus Clips

Wade Buchanan, Executive Director of Colorado's Office of Just Transition, discusses the economic impact of coal closures around the state.

Further Reading

Governor Jared Polis’ 2020 Colorado State of the State Address 

"Tri-State, EPRI team to officially bring ‘Farm in a Box’ program to Moffat County School District," Craig Press, September 23, 2020.

Colorado Office of Just Transition Action Plan, December 31, 2020.

HB19-1314 Transition from a Coal-based Electrical Economy, Colorado General Assembly, signed into law May 28, 2019.

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