Energy Transition – Existing Legislation

Photo Credit: Jackson Cooper Gango

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 existing legislation related to the energy transition below.

Just Transition from Coal-based Electrical Energy Economy (HB19-1314)

Sunset Public Utilities Commission (SB19-236)

  • Reauthorizes PUC. PUC must consider, when evaluating electric resources, what is best for “Colorado labor.” Utilities must provide to PUC “best value” employment metrics including training programs, wages, health care, and benefits as well as positive impacts on the long-term economic viability of Colorado communities. Enacted 2019.

Additional Funding for Just Transition (HB21-1290)

  • Bipartisan bill that finances the Office of Just Transition by allocating $8 million from the general fund to pay for economic development and another $7 million to aid coal workers. Enacted 2021.

Electric Generation (HB 1414)

  • Defines “coal transition worker” and requires the Commission for Higher Education, in conjunction with the Department of Workforce Development, to give priority access to transition worker applicants applying for high value workforce ready credit-bearing grants. Requires that utilities seeking to terminate a power purchase agreement with a generation asset in which they have an ownership interest provide three years advance notice to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. Enacted 2020.

Cost Securitization for Electric Utility Assets (SB 386)

  • Allows securitization of qualified costs associated with an electric generation facility that will be retired from service within 24 months. Enacted 2021.

Solar Energy Production Incentive Program (HF 1842)

  • Establishes a program for community energy transition grants for host communities of coal, nuclear or gas plants that have or will retire (from special revenue fund in the state treasury). Enacted 2020.

Authorizes Securitization for Energy Infrastructure (HB 467)

  • Finds it in the interest of Montanans to encourage and facilitate use of securitized ratepayer-backed bonds as a method for enabling electric utilities to lower the cost of financing the retirement or replacement of electric infrastructure and to empower the PSC to review securitization mechanisms. Enacted 2019.

Energy Transition Act (SB 489)

New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (S 6599)

Electric utilities; Closure of Carbon-emitting Generating Units (SB 1247 & HB 1842)

  • Requires owners of large carbon-emitting power plants to provide public notice about the decision to close the plant within 30 days of the decision and requires host localities and planning district commissions to conduct public hearings within six months of the notice. Enacted 2021.

Virginia Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Fund and Program (HB 1925)

  • Establishes the Virginia Brownfield and Coal Mine Renewable Energy Grant Fund, which awards grants to renewable energy projects located on brownfields or previously coal mined lands. Enacted 2021.

Photo Credit: Jackson Cooper Gango

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