Local organizations host community dialogue on clean energy

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From fields to panels — the topic of clean energy has grown immensely in the last few years. To keep up with the momentum, the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition teamed up with various Stateline organizations to talk about the state’s clean energy future.

“Illinois right now in the Midwest is at the forefront of clean energy jobs and investments,” said Blackhawk Sierra Club Co-Chair Steven Hall.

The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition is traveling all over the state to hear from residents. Organizers will then take all the feedback to develop clean energy policy proposals to take to Springfield.

“We’ve invited people far and wide,” said Hall. “We just want to hear what their concerns are going forward and what we might be able to do better.”

Daniel Brophy was among those at Tuesday’s meeting. He says he wants to learn more about what clean energy has to offer.

“[I want to learn] about it’s ability to cut costs,” said Brophy. “More importantly, cut the carbon footprint that we’re all putting on this world individually.”

The conversations included teaching residents about the job and economic benefits associated with clean energy. Hall says he’s installed solar panels on the roof of his own home.

“My investment will pay back in 6.8 years,” explained Hall. “Then, I’ll have electricity for free for the next 18, 19 years at least.”

Brophy says humans have hurt the planet for far too long and hopes to spread the word on what he learned on energy efficiency.

“Co-workers or relatives. Really put forward some of the knowledge I acquired here on what they can do.”

The next clean energy dialogue will be held at Freeport Public Library (100 E. Douglas St.) from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 27.

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