CCAN Winter Newsletter 2023-2024
Letter from the Director
The year 2023 has been a time of historic action and progress fighting climate change. But it’s also been a year of alarming impacts, including the record-shattering global heat that will make this, by far, the warmest year on record. Just reading the headlines can be mentally exhausting. And fighting corporate and political greed isn’t easy.
COP28, the U.N. Climate Change Conference, put a shining spotlight on this paradox. On its first day, the participants announced an agreement for an unprecedented fund aimed at helping vulnerable nations hit by climate emergencies. After that, weeks went by at COP28 while a record number of fossil fuel lobbyists and oil nations did everything they could to not only protect but expand the use of fossil fuels. But they failed. The COP ended with an historic agreement from more than 200 nations, for the first time, to formally transition away from fossil fuels.
Much more needs to be done to implement and accelerate this international agreement, but your team at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) is staying positive and hopeful. How can we do that? By continuing to build a people-powered movement where we can all take action together!
With your support – signing petitions, calling your elected leaders, showing up at events and protests and hearings, jumping in the Potomac with us in February, or investing in CCAN with a donation – we are making a difference and pushing forward. Thank you.
Here’s a quick look at what our team will be up against in 2024: in Washington, DC we’re taking on Washington Gas. In Maryland, fossil fuel companies are trying to scuttle our burgeoning offshore wind industry. In Virginia, we’re taking on the monopoly utility Dominion Energy which wants to upend state law and build a gas “peaker plant,” spewing toxic pollution one mile from an elementary school. And nationally, we’re up against fossil fuel giants who are pushing the Biden Administration to approve an unprecedented expansion in liquefied natural gas export terminals.
All of these fights are crucial to keep our planet livable for generations to come. So please consider supporting our work in 2024 with a special end-of-year donation. With your support, we’ll continue taking on the big fights. You can donate today by clicking this link or by sending a check to P.O. Box 11138, Takoma Park, MD 20913.
Thank you for standing with us. Happy New Year!
Executive Director, CCAN and CCAN Action Fund
Explore CCAN Updates
The Fight Against LNG
There are moments in history when we all remember where we were and how we responded. The cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline in 2021 by President Joe Biden was one of those historic moments. The next big fight that will define our history is here: stopping the buildout of liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals. The Biden Administration is now considering approval for 20 new terminals to export LNG, including the monster station Calcasieu Pass 2 (CP2) in Cameron, Louisiana. The U.S. has recently become the world’s largest exporter of LNG, and is planning to double its exports by 2027. Projects like CP2 would generate 20 times more greenhouse gas emissions than the controversial Willow Project in Alaska. This is clearly our next national climate priority.
CCAN and CCAN Action Fund have joined countless other national and regional organizations in urging President Biden and U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm to stop all new LNG permit approvals until they look at the impact of these facilities on our communities, the climate, and U.S. consumers. In just days, over 5,000 CCAN members signed the petition opposing these terminals. And, on November 30, we joined impacted people from the Gulf and other organizations at a press conference in front of the Department of Energy to deliver over 230,000 petition signatures. This is only the beginning of our fight. If you’re interested in becoming more involved with this campaign, sign up here to meet with our federal team.
Unleashing the Clean Energy Revolution
We’re continuing our march towards 100% clean energy both regionally and nationally. Thanks to historic investments from the federal Inflation Reduction Act and ever-improving renewable energy technologies, there are currently 200 transformative new clean energy projects underway across the country, enough to power 62 million households. But permitting bottlenecks threaten to put it all at risk. Our advocacy arm, CCAN Action Fund, is meeting with U.S. House and Senate legislators to prioritize grid upgrades and express our support for the BIG WIRES bill, sponsored by Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO). To meet our 100% clean energy goals, we must transform our transmission infrastructure while maintaining our environmental justice commitments. Sign the petition now: Tell Congressional leadership to pass clean energy permitting reform!
Healthy Homes for Everyone
Within the D.C. Council, we’ve been caught in a waiting game as we anticipate the passage of the Healthy Homes Act. This piece of legislation would fully fund home electrification for up to 30,000 low- and moderate-income households, bringing us much closer to an electric revolution! We’ve been on the ground at community events talking to residents about the dangers of gas and the available incentives for making the transition to an electrified home.
We have a generous donor offering to match up to $100,000 in donations made to this campaign. Double your impact by making a gift to Electrify DC today.
Grab your swimsuit, it’s Polar Bear Plunge season!
Join us on Saturday, February 10, 2024 at National Harbor near DC – or BRRR-tually from anywhere in the world – for CCAN’s annual Polar Bear Plunge to “Keep Winter Cold.”
The Polar Bear Plunge is our largest grassroots fundraising event, bringing in one third of CCAN donations raised from individuals. Sign up today to join us for this fun and exhilarating event in support of our campaigns in 2024!
Learn more: www.keepwintercold.org
Making Polluters Pay
The consequences from a warmer, wetter world are already here. Higher tides are destroying low-lying septic systems, heat waves are closing schools, saltwater intrusion is damaging crops, and heavy rainfall is causing flooding. The question before us now is – who is going to pay for it? CCAN has the answer and we’ve spent the past year running a public education campaign across the state raising awareness about how vulnerable we are to climate disasters, and the need for fossil fuel companies to pay up.
One example of these high costs is in Howard County, where they’re spending $228 million to build an 18-foot diameter drainage tunnel underneath Ellicott City to reduce flooding from heavy rain. It is the largest capital expenditure in the history of the county and similar investments will be needed in every county across the state.
Our sister organization, CCAN Action Fund, is working on the next step in the process of making fossil fuel companies pay for climate-related damages. That team is advocating for the Responding to Emergency Needs from Extreme Weather Act, or RENEW Act. This landmark bill would provide $9 billion dollars for the state to address climate change and adapt to the warming that’s already locked in. These funds would come entirely from the pockets of the largest international fossil fuel companies who do business in Maryland. If you’re a Marylander, email your legislator today in support of the RENEW Act.
Governor Moore: Get it Done by ‘31
Before the end of 2023, Governor Wes Moore is expected to release a draft climate plan to achieve 60% greenhouse gas reductions by 2031, as required by Maryland state law. This is the strongest near-term climate target in the country. But we need to make sure Moore’s plan includes the funding necessary to actually achieve this goal. CCAN, in coalition with other advocates across the state, has been working with the Maryland Department of the Environment to help develop a powerful state climate plan. We’ve educated decisionmakers about the importance of prioritizing electrification and renewable generation in reducing the state’s emissions. There’s still a little time to speak up. Sign the petition: Tell Governor Moore to Get it Done by ‘31!
A Sigh of Relief
Governor Glenn Youngkin’s extreme anti-climate agenda is now dead on arrival. That’s thanks to new climate majorities in the state legislature. Now what? We start putting bills on the Governor’s desk!
We’re ready to go. In preparation for this, our team made the trip to Danville over the summer to knock on doors and meet with local leaders and businesses in support of building electric vehicle charging infrastructure in rural and low-income areas. Now, CCAN Action Fund is assembling local grassroots lobby teams for the upcoming legislative session to push for more electric vehicle charging, equitable access to cost-saving solar, and energy efficiency. YOU can be a part of this by signing up to join a local lobby team here!
Fight Against Fossil Fuels
It’s 2023. We have seven years to cut our emissions in half. Billions of dollars are on the table for clean energy. There’s a state mandate to switch to zero-carbon electricity. And yet, major corporations are STILL proposing massive, new fossil fuel infrastructure in Virginia. In June, Dominion Energy unveiled their plans to build a huge methane gas plant in Chesterfield County – less than a mile from an elementary school and in a community that is finally breathing cleaner air after 80 years of coal plant pollution. What was CCAN’s response? NO WAY!
In response, we’re organizing frontline community members to persuade the Board of Supervisors to vote no on local zoning permits. And it’s working. At the community meeting in November, dozens of residents stormed the Dominion-led greenwashing event next door and took over!
Moving forward, we’ll keep fighting to end this project – we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again. With community support and coalitions, we stopped the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Virginia Natural Gas’s “Header Injustice Pipeline.” In 2024, with the support of CCAN members like you, we will stop the monstrous Chesterfield gas plant. Join us in this fight by signing the petition today.
Offshore Wind Works
The biggest offshore wind project in the world has gotten the green light from federal regulators! Soon, 176 carbon-free wind turbines will be powering over 660,000 homes in Virginia. It’s been a tough couple years in Virginia, but we’re continuing to move forward with your help. Donate today to help keep the wind in our sails.
In the Climate Fight, We are Not Alone
On September 17, 47 CCANers made the trip to New York City to march alongside 75,000 climate activists at the “March to End Fossil Fuels.” Our message was clear, we need leaders worldwide to take meaningful climate action now. It was a declaration that we, as citizens, are united in our determination to protect the Earth and its inhabitants. We marched for our children, our friends, the guy who cut in line last week, our parents and siblings, the kid who used to push us on the playground, and for those who could not march. We marched for humanity as a whole, because Earth will survive climate change, but we might not. Read the blog post.
Claim Your Free Hat
In this new climate era, we need to build a people-powered climate movement. Your tax-deductible donation to the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) promotes policies that keep fossil fuels in the ground and that advance clean energy in Maryland, Virginia, DC, and nationwide. Give today!