Spread the wealth

Although Colorado has added jobs like crazy, wages have stayed pretty flat in the Centennial State, says Martin Shields, director of the Regional Economics Institute at Colorado State University: “How will [candidates] ensure growth is more inclusive?”

A crude awakening

The Colorado economy might not rely on oil and gas as heavily as it once did, but it’s still a big chunk of our GDP. Falling gas prices, then, are going to hurt. Lifting the United States’ ban on exporting crude oil might salve the sting, says Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. The feds cracked the door in August when they approved shipments to Mexico. Widening it further could stabilize oil prices globally—and save jobs in Colorado.

Sitting on a coal mine

President Barack Obama’s administration’s Clean Power Plan calls for a 31 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in Colorado, the nation’s 11th-largest coal producer. Many small coal communities on the Western Slope—such as Craig, whose Craig Station plant and nearby Colowyo Mine have suffered under Obama—are undoubtedly hoping a candidate offers an alternative.