NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Colorado Edition: A Just Transition

Scott Franz
Capitol Coverage
Hayden Station, a coal-fired power plant, dominates part of the landscape between Hayden and Steamboat Springs in northwest Colorado. The power plant is expected to start shutting down in 10 years.

Today on Colorado Edition: we learn about the role Colorado Rep. Jason Crow will play in the Senate impeachment trial. Plus, we’ll look at a new office being created to help transition workers from coal jobs. We’ll also discuss the role of hospitals in helping secure a safe place for those recovering from illness. Finally, we look at the history of the Western Stock Show and talk to the show’s featured artist.

Rep. Jason Crow And Impeachment

Rep. Jason Crow
Credit U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. House of Representatives
Rep. Jason Crow represents Colorado's 6th Congressional District.

On Wednesday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi named a seven-member team of Democrats to be managers of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the U.S. Senate. 

One of the seven named is freshman Democrat Jason Crow from Aurora. 

Before serving as a U.S. representative, Crow was an attorney in Denver and an Army ranger. Jesse Paul from The Colorado Sun spoke to Crow, and joins us to discuss the representative’s role in the impeachment trial.

A Just Transition from Coal

This week, we’ve been talking about the loss of coal jobs in Western Slope towns and how communities are adjusting, visiting HaydenNucla and Naturita.

And just last week, we learned of another closure: one of Colorado’s largest coal-fired plants in Craig. Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association said it will close Craig Station and the nearby Colowyo mine by 2030. The power plant supports nearly 500 jobs in the area. 

A new state office has been created to help communities like Craig deal with the transition away from coal. It's called the Office of Just Transition and it's in Colorado's division of employment. Joe Barela, executive director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, joins us to explain the work the office will do.

'Bridge The Gap'

When a hospital discharges a patient, they aren’t allowed to release them into unsafe circumstances. The Affordable Care Act makes it illegal for them to do so. But for people without a stable living situation, there’s sometimes no safe place to recuperate. This can put pressure on hospitals to “bridge the gap” and help secure a safe place for those recovering from an illness.

Pat Ferrier has been covering this issue in our region for The Coloradoan and joins us to explain what she found.

The National Western Stock Show In Denver

Credit National Western Stock Show
Reining horse competes at the National Western Stock Show in 2012.

The National Western Stock Show opened in Denver last weekend to record-breaking crowds. It’s the 114th year the show has been in Denver, and it has changed a lot in that time.

Tom Noel, a professor of history at the University of Colorado Denver, former Colorado state historian, and author of Riding High: Colorado Ranchers and 100 Years of the National Western Stock Show, joins us to discuss the history of the show in Denver.

And every year as part of the National Western Stock Show, the Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale picks a featured artist. This year’s it's Sophy Brown, a painter based in Longmont, and she joins us to talk about her work.

Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs.

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and Henry Zimmerman (@HWZimmerman), and produced by Lily Tyson. The web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai. Managing editor Brian Larson contributed to this episode.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a daily news magazine taking an in-depth look at the issues and culture of Northern Colorado. It's available on our website, as well as on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can hear the show on KUNC's air, Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.