Models of wind turbines flanked the Lincoln statue in front of the state Capitol Tuesday as part of a ceremony to thank the governor for his leadership on environmental concerns.
The Sierra Club and Faith in Place headed a list of environmentally-minded groups delivering petition signatures.
A woman who said her son is a chronic asthmatic also took part. “We didn’t see inhalers in the schools,” said Robin Garlish, a Peoria mom active in the Central Illinois Healthy Community Alliance, “and now it’s very common. It’s way too common. I myself just spent part of a day in the hospital having my first breathing treatment due to bronchial asthma.” Garlish says a power plant four miles from her home “spews out toxic carbon daily.”
Another participant is trying to get homes, businesses and farms to install equipment to harness nature’s energy.
“Here in Springfield, we are blessed, because we have two rebate opportunities. The local utility provides a solar rebate, and the state just opened their rebate program, so, in most cases, I am seeing paybacks on systems in Springfield of about three to five years,” said Michelle Knox, owner of WindSolarUSA, based in Owaneco, Ill., near Taylorville in Christian County.