Bennet Welcomes Landmark Agreement to Provide Community and Financial Assistance for Craig and Moffat County Through Energy Transition

Denver — Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet welcomed the agreement between Tri-State Generation and Transmission, the City of Craig, and Moffat County to provide up to $70 million in financial and other support between 2026 and 2038 for the economic transition resulting from the closure of Craig Station, a coal-fired power plant.

“For years, when I’ve visited Craig and other communities in Northwest Colorado, I’ve heard concerns about what coal mine and power plant closures will mean for their main streets and way of life. Communities like Craig need support to smooth the transition, long-term economic certainty, and resources to help them thrive. This agreement is a major step in the right direction. I’m grateful to have worked alongside leaders from Moffat County and Craig as they carve out a new path forward, and I’ll keep fighting to ensure energy communities that have powered our state for decades are able to prosper in the future,” said Bennet.

The settlement includes:

  • $22 million in direct assistance to Craig and Moffat County between 2026 and 2029 to create a community economic development trust fund;
  • Up to $48 million in other anticipated investments between 2028 and 2038 to fill the gap in lost property tax revenue following the closure of Craig Station; and 
  • Water rights secured for Moffat County for its Lower Yampa River Augmentation Plan. 

Bennet has long worked to support Northwest Colorado communities after hearing from local leaders in February 2020 about the challenges created by announced coal plant closures in Craig and Hayden. In August 2021, Bennet held a roundtable discussion in Craig with the Northwest Colorado Development Council, and county and municipal leaders from Moffat, Routt, and Rio Blanco counties, where he heard about the importance of getting ahead of the “fiscal cliff” due to the expected significant loss of revenue as part of their tax base. In May 2022, Bennet introduced the National Energy Community Transition Act, which included input from Northwest Colorado leaders. The bill would support economic development in communities that have relied on fossil fuel power generation, production, or extraction and are facing declines in tax revenue that sustains core public services, such as hospitals and schools. Bennet has also worked to help secure key projects for the community with federal support. He is particularly proud of how Moffat County repurposed an old Kmart building into a new courthouse and county center. He secured $4.65 million for the courthouse through the Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations process.