Four Facts About Dr. Leah Stokes, Our October 22 Benefit Breakfast Keynote

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Fresh Energy’s annual benefit breakfasts have earned a reputation for bringing diverse and leading voices in the clean energy sector to Minnesota. In 2020, we were proud welcome internationally recognized clean energy thought leader Dr. Leah C. Stokes.

If you’re not already familiar with Dr. Stokes, you can see her official bio here. Better yet, consider these four facts: 

1. She led the charge on analyzing presidential candidates’ climate plans. 

In late 2019, Dr. Stokes rolled up her sleeves and dug into the feasibility of the many climate plans released by Democratic presidential candidates. Already well-known among climate scientists and clean energy experts, Stokes became a Twitter sensation and household name after live-tweeting CNN’s 7-hour (not a typo!) climate town hall in September 2019. 

2. She pulled back the curtain on Ohio’s coal industry bailout.

 In July of 2019, before the true depth of the corruption scandal in Ohio was known, Dr. Stokes wrote a scathing Op Ed in The Guardian branding Ohio’s House Bill 6 as the “worst yet” attack on clean energy laws by a state. In addition to elaborating on the impending climate impacts of HB 6, she pointed to the dealings between industry executives and political leaders as deeply problematic. 

3. She is a go-to climate policy analyst for major media outlets including National Geographic, The Nation, Vox, and Newsweek. 

When you take a look at Dr. Stokes’ background, it’s no surprise that the media are calling upon her to weigh in on the Green New Deal, presidential candidate climate plans, and climate impacts of COVID-19. Stokes is deeply steeped in climate and energy science, has her master’s degree in political science and PhD public policy from MIT. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at University of California, Santa Barbara. 

4. She published a book in April titled Short Circuiting Policy

In her book, which has been recommended by Bill McKibben, Dr. Stokes delves into how organized combat between advocate and opponent interest groups has prevented progress, even in states with strong clean energy policies. Drawing on her research and multifaceted background, she also explains how we can turn it around to use state policy to create more jobs, cleaner air, and a brighter future.  Register by September 21 and be entered to win a signed copy of Dr. Stokes’ book!

Dr. Stokes’ deep knowledge of climate and energy policy, decisive policy analysis, and position as a thought leader in the global clean energy sector will deepen the conversation at our Benefit Breakfast and help us explore how states can drive change. Clean energy must be at the center of rebuilding our economy and at this year’s benefit breakfast we will discuss the roles that policy, the private sector, and people can all play to make that happen. 

Thank you to our event sponsors!

Title Sponsor

Fair of the Future Sponsors

Atomic Data
District Energy St. Paul
Ever-Green Energy
Great River Energy
Impact Power Solutions
Rahr Corporation
Xcel Energy

Friends of the Future Business Sponsors

All Energy Solar
Askov Finlayson
Best Buy
Bremer Bank
Cogent Consulting PBC
Design 45
Hannon Armstrong
iDEAL Energies
Keystone Compensation Group LLC
Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
Nokomis Energy
Old National Bank
SolAmerica Energy
TruNorth Solar

Friends of the Future Family Sponsors

Donna W. Allan and Bill Mahlum
Conley Family Foundation
Will and Claudia Kaul
James P. Lenfestey
Raj V. Rajan and Kavitha Sitaram

Match Pool Sponsors

Randy and Bird Anderson
Joe DeVito and Holly Kuznia
Hayden Family Fund
Kathy Iverson and Mike Menzel
Ralph Jacobson and Cynthia Bartoo
Sarah F. Lang Fund
Cotty Lowry and Laurie Jacobi
David and Kate Mortenson
Charles and Candice Nadler
Jan and Rick Neville
Michael and Patsy Noble
Novel Energy Solutions
Chris O’Brien
Willie and Markell Rahr
Federico and Nassim Rossi
The Van Steenburgh/Ladner Family Fund
Mary Woollen and Clark Heindl