Climate Action Gains Momentum

Letter from the Executive Director

Governor Dayton Postcard Delivery Governor Mark Dayton receives thousands of postcards urging his climate and clean energy leadership.

In his inaugural address, President Obama pledged to respond to climate change “knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.” Then, in his State of the Union address, he outlined several clean energy initiatives his administration will pursue to help fulfill that commitment, including a goal of cutting energy waste from homes and businesses in half by 2030.

In Minnesota, Governor Dayton and the Minnesota legislature are poised to continue Minnesota’s clean energy path. Governor Dayton’s State of the State not only recognized Will Steger, but also issued a bold statement of support for a clean energy future and a challenge to the Legislature to take the next big step forward towards a sustainable energy future.

This legislative session we will be working with a broad coalition and Governor Dayton’s administration to support Minnesota’s existing clean energy and carbon reduction policies. We will work to create new policies that allow our state to achieve even more benefits from efficiency and renewable energy, while also ensuring we achieve the state carbon reduction goal of 30% by 2025. We will also galvanize our youth leaders through our Emerging Leaders Program to build a grassroots youth movement that expands what is politically possible.

We look forward to sustaining this momentum for climate solutions through our policy work, youth leadership, public outreach and upcoming educator workshops! Stay tuned for updates on these efforts on our blog and monthly updates.


Nicole Rom, Executive Director


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Dr. Karen Oberhauser, Monarch Butterfly researcher

Stop by and visit WSF Education staff exhibiting and presenting at the CERTS conference February 20-21 or the Minnesota Conference on Science Education February 22 and 23!

Connect your classroom with climate and energy solutions. Register now for one or BOTH of our Summer Institutes!  Turn on your teaching with the 2013 Summer Institute for Energy Education, June 16-18, or dive into the classroom and outdoor components of the Will Steger Foundation’s Minnesota’s Changing Climate (MCC) curriculum, August 6-7.

Join our next virtual book club meeting with special guest, Dr. Karen Oberhauser, Monarch Butterfly researcher and source for Barbara Kingsolver’s recent book Flight Behavior.  We will meet online on February 28, 4:30 PM CST.  Email Susan Buhr for more information and to get on the Climate and Energy book club list hosted by ICEERead Kristen’s recent review of the book on our blog.

Events for February and March

Feb. 17th – Forward Climate Rally in Washington D.C. sponsored by, Sierra Club and others
Details:  MN Goes to Washington DC or general event info.

Feb 20-21 – CERTS conference, St. Cloud. Event details.

Feb. 20-21 – Bill McKibben returns to MN with events sponsored by Cool Planet and MN350.

Full Events list for February and March

Emerging Leaders

Youth RallyYouth Engagement in Public Policy
A new year with new legislators in the Minnesota State Capitol means many new opportunities for youth voices to be heard on the crucial environmental issues we face today. Will Steger Foundation’s Youth Environmental Activists Minnesota program (YEA! MN), along with Minnesota Youth Environmental Network (MNYEN), MN350, and the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG) have planned a pair of events coming up February 24-25 for youth to learn about and advocate for sustainability on a local level.

Next Generation Environmental Congress – Sunday, February 24th, 12-6 PM

Youth Lobby Day for Clean Energy Policies – Monday, February 25th, 8 AM-4 PM
REGISTER HERE by February 15 if you are interested in attending one or both of these events.

WSF Youth Travel to DC for Climate Rally
Five high school youth from WSF’s YEA! MN program will travel with Joe Kruse, YEA! MN Coordinator, to the Forward on Climate Rally in DC, Feb 17th. The students will travel by bus to the rally, which calls on Obama to halt the Keystone Pipeline and take decisive leadership on climate legislation during his second term. Thousands of people are expected to attend what is being called the largest climate rally in U.S. history. Read our blog about Midwest youth engagement at this event.

Finally, catch up on our Emerging Leaders Mentorship Program here!

In The News

State Senate HearingState Energy and Environment Committee
Will Steger testifies before the Senate Energy and Environment Committee on the urgency of climate change and the need for immediate policy solutions. Watch Will’s testimony

Roseville Patch

Roseville Patch
State Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, recently held a hearing on climate science with Will Steger and meteorologist Paul Douglas. Read More


Gov. Dayton devoted a substantial section of his State of the State speech to environmental issues. At one point in his talk, he acknowledged Arctic explorer Will Steger, who was in the crowd. Read More

Fresh EnergyFresh Energy
WSF Board Member, Michael Noble, and Fresh Energy Executive Director captures our collaborative work and Dayton’s State of the State. Read More

logo startribStar Tribune – Climate change: So hot it must be handled?
In last week’s State of the State address, Gov. Mark Dayton articulated a vision for what is “best for Minnesota in the future.” Read More



On Sunday, February 17, thousands of Americans will head to Washington, D.C. to make Forward on Climate the largest climate rally in history. The Will Steger Foundation is proud to join the Sierra Club, and over 100 partnering organizations to support this historic event. We are also excited to send a high school youth delegation from YEA! MN. Join the rally and help the president start his second term with strong climate action.

Cannot be there in person? Join the virtual rally.

Photo of the Month

Judy Will Ellen
Will Steger and Nicole Rom met with Judy Poferl, President and CEO, Northern States Power Company, an Xcel Energy Company, and Ellen Anderson, Governor Dayton’s Senior Advisor on Energy and the Environment, to discuss Minnesota’s clean energy future.


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