UPCOMING EVENTS

Sunday, November 11th, 2 pm

Charleston Public Library

Rotary Rooms A & B

Come to an informational presentation by Nicholas Gordon from New Prairie Solar. Solar panel installations for homeowners and businesses will be discussed, as well as a "group buy" option that will lower the price for everyone if many people/businesses are interested. There will be no pressure to make any decisions on Sunday.


Thank you to the Charleston Huddle for arranging this presentation!!

PAST EVENTS

Future Energy Conversation

a follow-up event to Power Our Planet! 

To explore the ways Coles County can share in the benefits of the Future Energy Jobs Act, Coles Progressives, the group that brought you “Power Our Planet!”, hosted a “Future Energy Conversation” co-facilitated by members of Prairie Rivers Network, Citizen's Utility Board (CUB), and Faith in Place, all members of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC). Local residents, area leaders, experts, and elected officials gathered for a facilitated conversation about bringing a clean energy economy that cuts energy costs and creates jobs to Coles County. 

The ICJC successfully championed the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), historic legislation that helps Illinois meet its goal to obtain 25% of his energy from renewable sources by 2025. FEJA passed with strong bipartisan support in 2016, positioning Illinois to become a clean energy leader.

Event participants discussed topics of clean energy, carbon-free power, and electric vehicles, as well as their associated economic benefits and jobs. The cost-saving opportunities and environmental benefits that solar and energy efficiency upgrades offer customers were key topics of interest to the attendees, although they expressed concern for the need to ensure these benefits reach rural electric cooperative customers.

Attendees were also eager to explore creative ways to take advantage of the new opportunities created by FEJA, such as repurposing empty factories to provide permanent renewable energy manufacturing jobs for local workers and using land that can’t be farmed, like landfills, for community solar panel installations.

The evening concluded with an expert panel of representatives from Straight Up Solar, New Prairie Construction, and Tick Tock Energy, as well as Joe Tillman, instructor and sustainability coordinator from Lake Land College, and Dr. Peter Ping Liu, professor and director of the Center for Clean Energy Research and Education at Eastern Illinois University.

The panel fielded questions about the economics of a potential “clean” coal plant in Coles County, agreeing that the price of coal-fired power would be uneconomical given the low cost of natural gas and the falling costs of utility scale solar and wind.

When the discussion turned to moving away from coal-fired power, the majority of event participants hoped to see transition plans in place that include economic development, coal ash clean-up, and worker retraining and job placement for coal plant communities.

Liu ended the evening by saying, “Tonight’s event has given me hope.”

For more information: https://ilcleanjobs.org/who-we-are/

Questions: email ColesProgressives@gmail.com

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I'm happy to have been a part of this event. I've helped facilitate several of these conversations, and I feel pretty confident saying that this was easily be best in the state. The Progressives, along with Amanda, Cindy, and whomever else had a hand in pulling this together, did an excellent job."  - Scott Allen

Power Our Planet!

Held at Douglas-Hart Nature Center, this event was part of a Sept. 8th global day of action, “Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice”, launched by the People’s Climate Movement to promote understanding of climate issues and to encourage leadership at all levels to solve them. Events across the nation and around the world sent a message to the “Global Climate Action Summit” in San Francisco 4 days later that people everywhere support a fast, fair, and just transition to a 100% renewable energy economy.

 

The “Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice” action plan advocates for an energy transition from fossil fuels that creates good paying jobs and opportunities for all and protects the most vulnerable among us already impacted by our changing climate.

 

The local event at Douglas-Hart aimed to entertain and educate while showing how we can POWER OUR PLANET in a safe and clean way.

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