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Thursday, June 20th 5 - 8 pm
Brake for Breakfast!
Join us to celebrate Bike Walk Week in the Twin Cities for a free breakfast along the Midtown Greenway.
Our Work Is Having An Impact
Check out the testimonials we've received lately! Then join us today in continuing our work to engage in solutions to climate change. We have tremendous opportunity to make Minnesota the clean energy leader.
Hundreds Joined the Clean Energy and Jobs Day of Action!
Hundreds rallied at the Minnesota state capitol on Earth Day to answer Governor Dayton’s call to build a sustainable energy future for our state in support of clean energy and good jobs!
New Land 2013 Expedition
Follow the New Land Expedition this Spring! Join American John Huston, Norwegian Tobias Thorleifsson, Canadian Hugh Dale-Harris, and South African Kyle O’Donoghue as they traverse 630 miles on Ellesmere Island.
Summer Institutes 2013
Registration is NOW OPEN for the 2013 Summer Institutes for Educators.
Educate, Inspire and Empower
Established in January 2006 by polar explorer Will Steger, the Will Steger Foundation, educates, inspires and empowers people to engage in solutions to climate change.
Most Recent Posts
We Did It!
Written by eNewsletter
I’ll start with the good news: Both the Minnesota House and Senate passed our Clean Energy and Jobs legislation last week. The legislation includes a first-ever solar standard and a strengthened renewable energy standard for investor-owned utilities, as well as important efficiency and local power production policies.
Lessons from LVEJO’s Kim Wasserman, Winner of the 2013 Goldman Environmental Prize for North America
Written by Abby Fenton, Youth Programs Director
It was truly an honor to see Kim Wasserman, Founder and Executive of Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), awarded the 2013 Goldman Environmental Prize for North America for her work organizing communities of color and coalitions against powerful coal interests.
New Land Expedition 2013: Lands Lokk Reached
Written by Administrator
It is Day 41 of the expedition and we have arrived at our northern most destination Lands Lokk, which is Otto Sverdrup’s furthest north which he obtained on May 6, 1902, so just a few days before we arrived.
We Are Youth. Protect Our Future!
I’m Katie Mercer-Taylor. I’m a student at Roseville Area High School and Co-chair of the Youth Environmental Activists of Minnesota. I'm very proud to see so many members of our strong and growing youth environmental movement here today. We come from many different communities and backgrounds, but we stand united today because our generation’s future depends on continuing the transition to renewable energy right now.
100 High School Students March through Sleet and Snow: We are Unstoppable, a Better Future is Possible
The Will Steger Foundation was proud to support the Youth March on Climate Action Now!, planned and orchestrated by student Steering Committee members of Youth Environmental Activists on Minnesota (YEA! MN), a program of the Will Steger Foundation.
We were very disappointed to learn today from Patrick Fitzgerald at NWF, that Congressman Chip Cravaack of Minnesota's 8th Congressional District, has offered an amendment to eliminate funding to the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Climate Change Education Program. This will affect great science-based climate change education projects here in Minnesota that includes the Como Zoo & Conservatory and SERC at Carleton College, an important partner in the Climate Literacy Network. In the Great Lakes Region NSF has been funding a Great Lakes Network, focused on bringing together educators, scientists and others focused on climate change education to encourage collaboration and decrease duplication of efforts. Funding from the National Science Foundation for climate change education is integral to the work we do: developing science based climate change education resources and programs and maintaining a nationwide network dedicated specifically to climate change education.
Youth leaders in Minnesota have been active to ensure our U.S. Senators protect the Clean Air Act. From Collegeville to Crookston, we came to the Twin Cities to meet with our Senators’ staff and share why defending the Clean Air Act is so important to us, our generation, and the state of Minnesota.
The Clean Air Act has been vital in protecting the nation’s health, and attacks on the clean air standards would weaken regulations on harmful pollutants such as mercury, ozone, and greenhouse gases. These attacks are part of an alarming trend of anti-EPA legislation. This is of special concern to us, young adults, because the energy and environmental policy decisions of today will affect us for decades to come. The problems caused by pollution, climate change, and diminishing natural resources will be our generation’s burden to bear.
The latest salvo against clean air comes from Senator Rand Paul, who wants to block an air pollution standard that cuts down on the amount of dangerous air pollution that is carried over state lines – essentially delivering pollutants that create soot, smog, and acid rain to all Americans. Senator Paul’s Cross State Air Pollution Standard would roll back public health protections and let polluters continue to dump their toxic pollution into our air, leading to as many as 34,000 premature deaths, 15,000 heart attacks, and 400,000 asthma attacks annually. This resolution would be a huge step back at a time when we need to see progress in improving our air quality.
Image Credits: The Sierra Club
We brought this message to our Senators, sharing that Minnesotans want clean air and water and we want the EPA to enforce standards that will lower air pollution and its deadly public health impacts. In both meetings we were welcomed in sharing our concerns and told they would be passed along to the Senators.
In Senator Al Franken’s office, youth met with Alana Petersen, State Director for Senator Franken, and Al Juhnke, the Senators Agriculture and Energy Field Representative. Youth explained how regulation creates the opportunity for innovation and for growth in the green economy. We want to see investments in renewable energy, not oil and coal companies. Attacks on the EPA and environmental regulations eliminate job growth opportunities for young people who seek careers in this important field.
Senator Franken had not yet heard about the Congressional Review of the Cross State Air Pollution Rule that had been proposed only days beforehand. Petersen and Juhnke spoke about the Senator’s commitment to making educated decisions on these matters and shared the Senator’s strong voting record to protect clean air. We hope to see that record continue when Senator Franken votes on this resolution.
In Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office, we met with Greg Bohrer, Senator Klobuchar’s energy and environmental legislative correspondent. During the meeting, Klobuchar’s past environmental voting record was also discussed. For most of her term Senator Klobuchar has been supportive of public health and environmental protection legislation, but her stance has softened considerably in the past year. In April 2011, she voted in favor of two separate attempts to weaken the Clean Air Act, the Baucus Amendment and the Stabenow Amendment. We expressed our concern and disappointment over these votes.
We shared how the protecting the Clean Air Act will protect our futures. At a time when far too often industry profits are valued over scientific evidence and the health of Americans, we need Senator Klobuchar to vote to protect our health, to help mitigate the impacts of climate change, and to build the green economy in which we hope to work.
When asked how Senator Klobuchar plans to vote on the Congressional Review of the Cross State Air Pollution Rule, Bohrer responded that the Senator has not yet decided. He stressed that she is committed to making informed decisions and is looking into the longterm impacts of the resolution.
The impacts of a repeal to the Cross State Air Pollution rule are clear. It would block Minnesota from receiving between $650 million and $1.6 billion each year in health benefits and put thousands of Americans at risk of life-threatening illnesses.
The meetings with our Senators’ staff were overall productive and hopeful. Both Senators value the opinions of their constituents and the delegation of youth leaders communicated how Minnesotans want them to act--we need our Senator Klobuchar and Senator Franken take a stand in protecting clean air and vote against the Congressional Review of the Cross State Air Pollution Rule and other attempts to weaken the Clean Air Act.
Youth Leaders Present at Lobby Meetings:
Lauren Snively from UMN Crookston and student representative to the UMN System-wide Sustainability Committee, Nick Moe from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Mike Wardwell from University St. Thomas Environmental Law Society, Natalie Tungsvik - MPIRG Student Board of Directors Chair from Hamline University, Cora Ellenson-Myers and Logan Bailey from the UMN MPIRG chapter, Tim Sheehan and Cole Norgaarden - Co-Chairs of Yea!MN, Leah Norman from Yea! MN, Alyssa Tucker from the MN Youth Environmental Network, Gretel Lee and Jason Bender from UMN Campus Beyond Coal, Timothy Den-Herder Thomas - Co-foudner of Grand Aspirations, Joe Kruse - Yea!MN Coordinator, and Christy Newell - Will Steger Foundation Intern and from UMTC EcoWatch.
Our Senators need to hear from you!
The Clean Air Act is known as one of the most successful public health programs in American history. With $30 in benefits for every dollar invested, it’s also one of the best investments Americans have made. Now, with a new tool, Clean Air Act Where You Live, provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we can calculate how two EPA safeguards will impact us here in Minnesota.
The Cross State Air Pollution Rule and the proposed Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, nationally, will save tens of thousands of lives, prevent hundreds of thousands of asthma and heart attacks and avert millions of missed school and work days – yielding hundreds of billions of dollars in benefits to our communities.
Image via: © 2006 Bruno & Lígia Rodrigues. 2006
On Thursday, the EPA announced another delay that is part of a dangerous trend. Just weeks after Obama chose to delay critical air quality standards for smog, his administration announced a delay for New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), which will help curb greenhouse gas emissions.
"Greenhouse gases for power plants is first on the docket," EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said on the sidelines of an event in San Francisco. "Although we are not going to make the date at the end of the month, we are still working and will be shortly announcing a new schedule."
With extreme weather events becoming the new normal, the costs of inaction on climate change are more apparent. This year’s unprecedented floods, storms, and fires tell us that we are in a race against time to curb this dangerous pollution.
Americans support and are demanding fundamental EPA protections against life-threatening pollution, and it's in America's long-term economic interest to transition away from dirty fuels to clean energy.
Taking a little more time to get it done right is one thing. Punting on EPA’s duty to protect our children and our planet would be utterly unacceptable.
US Climate Network - Cleaning Up Power Plants & Big Polluters
We've spent the past two weeks interpreting the midterm elections and what the results mean for our state, regional and national efforts to advance climate and clean energy policies. The post-election discussion about "what it all means" is fascinating given the historical shift to the right. Dow Jones reported that the big winners were the oil and coal industries; Politico implied that Democrats were punished for supporting cap and trade; the White House and Congressional Democrats are mostly attributing losses to a stifled economy and high unemployment, whereas Republicans are portraying the results as a referendum on the Obama Administration's policies; and some climate action groups have been trying to assess what or who is to blame (other than themselves) and what the new strategy will be.
You can view our full profile at the Charities Review Council.