Energy Communities in Transition

Photo Credit: Jackson Cooper Gango

Map of Coal Plants Closures.
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 provide information for state legislators, community members, and local governments on programs that provide financial assistance to support communities in transition. The examples from utility-contributed funds might provide a framework for a community “ask” of utilities’ for support during a transition.

Federal Funding Opportunities

Interagency Working Group on Coal & Powerplant Communities & Economic Revitalization: Funding Opportunities

2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill: Funding Opportunities for States, National Caucus of Environmental Legislators

Federal Economic Resources Matrix: Sortable and Searchable Database

Economic Development Administration: Coal Communities Commitment (PDF)

USDA Rural Development

USEDA Assistance to Coal Communities

Environmental Protection Agency: Coal Plant Decommissioning – Financing Cleanup and Redevelopment (PDF)

Utility Contributions

Arizona: Utility Offers $169 Million Deal with Navajo Nation

Montana: Puget Sound Energy (PSE) Provides Economic Impact Funds for Colstrip

Private Philanthropy

Rural Philanthropy Toolkit

Just Transition Fund

Telluride Foundation Launches Innovative Mapping Tool to Spark Economic Development in Rural Colorado’s Opportunity Zones (2019)

Other Resources

Helpful Hints for Submitting a Strong EDA Proposal

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

Economic Development Policies to Enable Fairness for Workers and Communities in Transition

People Who Can Help

Photo Credit: Jackson Cooper Gango

Search CNEE