The Other Craigs

31m ·

The Other Craigs

In Craig, Colorado, one big question looms: What if the transition fails? Transitions are nothing new, and American history is full of cautionary tales. When big industries fail or move away, bad things can happen to the small towns that rely on them. 

Think about timber mills closing in rural areas of the Pacific Northwest. Or fisheries collapsing in New England. Or Midwestern automotive factories moving offshore. Some of those communities managed to survive. Many didn’t.

Since the mid-2000s, coal closures have washed over the U.S. like a wave.

As President, Donald Trump pledged he'd restore the livelihoods of coal workers. But by the end of his term, coal jobs were as endangered as ever.

In Appalachia, closures hit small towns hard. Muhlenberg, Kentucky. Manchester, Ohio. McDowell County, West Virginia. The list goes on. Schools, hospitals, and other public services withered. People moved away.

We wanted to get some national perspective on coal-impacted communities. We wanted to see what we've learned from other towns that are further ahead in their transitions. Most of all, we wanted to know if Craig could succeed where others failed.

To explore more from this episode, visit https://coalatsunset.org/episodes/episode-4-the-other-craigs/

Host: Kristan Uhlenbrock
Guests: 

• Heidi Binko, Executive Director of the Just Transition Fund

• Chris Markuson, Director of Colorado and State Economic Transition Policy at the BlueGreen Alliance

• Kirstie McPherson, owner of 518 Wine Bar and The Find

• Tim Wohlgenant, Executive Director, Yampa Valley Community Foundation

Coal at Sunset: A Colorado Town in Transition was created by the Institute for Science & Policy at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and produced in partnership with House of Pod. 

To hear bonus clips and find additional resources, visit https://coalatsunset.org/

 

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