A Rockford man is making it a part of his mission to reduce his carbon footprint as more pressure is being put on states to create cleaner power plans.
“President Obama and the EPA have told states they need to greatly reduce their carbon dioxide emissions over the next 15 years and so the state of Illinois must reduce its emission by roughly 30 percent," said Illinois Senator Steve Stadelman.
Senator Stadelman said he thinks the use of renewable energy will continue to grow in Illinois.
"We are in the process of coming up with new policy that will determine the mix of nuclear, coal, and renewable energy sources, and several pieces of legislation were discussed over the spring, weren't able to reach an agreement, but over the next year I think we'll come up with new legislation," said Stadelman.
However, one Rockford man is already reducing his carbon footprint with solar panels.
A grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation made it possible for Urban Ministries Treasurer Lee Schreiner to use solar panels at his building, which he uses for his JustGood Fair Trade store and Rockford Urban Ministries.
"The pope's recent encyclical talked about that we all have an obligation to protect the creation and this is part of our protecting God's creation," said Schreiner.
He installed 28 solar panels over the summer.
Schreiner said on a sunny day the solar panels will generate at least eight kilowatts of electric energy and that's based on the sun's intensity.
"We wanted to reduce our carbon footprint and to produce some clean energy," said Schreiner. “I think we all need to do what we can both to reduce our energy consumption and to generate it in a clean and environmentally friendly fashion."
The grant took care of 60 percent of the solar panel project. Fundraisers will be held to raise the remaining 40 percent.
Schreiner said he wrote a grant for Guilford High School to receive panels 10 years ago. He said the panels are still effective.