Let's Celebrate 20 Years of Climate Action!

The Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) was founded in 2002 by our executive director, Mike Tidwell. At the time, on the front page of the Washington Post, he read about a new and terrifying United Nations study. It showed that our planet would literally burn up unless we took immediate action to switch to clean energy.

So Mike promptly walked away from a successful journalism career, converted his house to solar power, and began looking for a job with a regional or national group that was fully committed to fighting global warming.

But he couldn’t find one.

At the time, groups like Sierra Club and Greenpeace had climate change as ONE of their priorities, but not as their TOP priority. 

Instead, Mike decided to form the group he wanted to belong to: The Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN). It started with him and a laptop at his home in Takoma Park, Maryland. Now today, we’ve grown to a staff of 25 with offices in Takoma Park, Richmond, and Norfolk. We run dynamic, hard-charging campaigns for clean energy in Maryland, Virginia, DC, and beyond. 

Over the past two decades, CCAN has grown and evolved. We’ve developed a large and growing network of allies to fight climate change and support climate justice. We’ve established an advocacy group called the CCAN Action Fund to engage legislators and candidates, and to promote groundbreaking clean-energy policies at the local, state, and national level. And we’ve achieved many amazing victories — see below — and redoubled our efforts after every setback. Together, we’re building a people’s movement to fight climate change on all fronts. 

Now, we’d like to invite you to join us in savoring the progress we’ve made and continuing the fight against climate change. 

20th logos (866 × 1122 px)



After years of hard work by CCAN and partners, the Climate Solutions Now Act passed in Maryland. It sets a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 60% statewide by 2031 and moves us towards broad electrification of vehicles and buildings. It also invests in climate-focused jobs within the Maryland Chesapeake Conservation Corps and targets climate investments in low-to-moderate income communities.

Chickahominy Power was  a looming threat since October 2016 when the project was first proposed. It was intended to be a merchant plant – meaning that it would supply energy into the regional grid for profit but not provide energy directly to Virginia customers. Our work still continues to keep new fossil fuel infrastructure out of Virginia >>>

All of Maryland’s new state buses – 100% – will be generating zero emissions after 2022! The state has also make a commitment to plant 5 million trees before 2030, with two-thirds of the tree-planting funds going to urban, historically-redlined and economically-disadvantaged areas. Read more here.

Carbon emissions from the transportation sector account for nearly half of all emissions in Virginia. And they disproportionately affect communities of color. By passing clean car standards legislation, the General Assembly ensured that Virginians will have access to cleaner vehicles that help improve public health, protect our environment, and expand consumer choice.

On July 5, 2020, after six years of dedicated and powerful opposition, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy announced the cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The ACP would have carried fracked gas for 600 miles from West Virginia, across the Appalachian Trail and into Virginia and the Carolinas, costing the people $8 billion and visiting immeasurable harm on the communities in its path. 

This historic bill reverses decades of bad energy policy in Virginia. It mandates the shutdown of most of the state’s coal plants by 2030 and all the state’s fossil fuel plants for electricity – including gas plants — by 2045. It opens the gate to the biggest offshore wind farms in America and turbocharges the spread of solar rooftops and solar farms.

Over the years, CCAN has joined with many other organizations to build a groundswell of opposition to offshore drilling in the Atlantic. More than 140 East Coast communities, including Wilmington, Virginia Beach, Charleston, and Savannah, and thousands of businesses, trade groups, and tourism associations have passed resolutions opposing Atlantic drilling and seismic testing.

These combined efforts led the Virginia General Assembly to pass a bill that blocks future oil and gas development off the state’s coastline! This was a great win for our coast and our climate. 

This landmark legislation transforms the way electricity is used in Maryland, making roof-top solar power and utility-scale solar common forms of generation in the coming years. It also kickstarts the state’s offshore wind industry, with incentives for 1200 megawatts of ocean-based power. And it increases Maryland’s renewable electricity standard to 50% of the total grid by 2030 while requiring the state to examine pathways for achieving 100% clean power by 2040. 

The construction of new crude terminals in Baltimore is banned! Over three years after launching a fight against a Texas oil company’s proposal for a new crude oil terminal in South Baltimore, a strong coalition of residents, advocates, and community leaders achieved a major victory for public health and safety, air and water quality, and the climate with the passage of the Crude Oil Terminal Prohibition.

100 percent of Washington, DC’s electricity will come from clean renewable power by the year 2032! This win also put in place enormous incentives for electric cars, set groundbreaking efficiency standards for existing buildings, and expanded a pollution fee on electricity, natural gas and home-heating oil. It then invests that carbon revenue in a special “Green Bank” for clean energy loans and efficiency and solar programs for low and moderate income residents.

In March 2017, the Maryland General Assembly placed a permanent ban on fracking in Maryland. This win was achieved through six years of organizing against the drilling practice from a grassroots movement that included farmers, doctors, students, faith leaders, environmental groups, and others. In the final year of the campaign, 16 municipalities across the state passed bans, resolutions or statements of support in favor of a ban on this harmful drilling practice.

In June 2016, the District of Columbia Council unanimously approved the Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Amendment Act of 2016, which expanded D.C.’s clean energy target to 50 percent by 2032. At these new levels, D.C. is now on par with other state clean energy leaders like California, New York, and Oregon in regards to RPS goals. Not only does the law increase the renewable requirements, but it also extends the alternative compliance payments for utilities that don’t meet these standards.

CCAN activists were instrumental in leading the grassroots backlash to the annual $64 tax on hybrid vehicles that had previously passed the Virginia General Assembly. More than 7,700 owners of Priuses, Civics and other hybrids joined with environmental activists in a petition drive seeking a reversal of the fee. It worked and the repeal passed with bipartisan support.

Since 2010, CCAN worked with the community in Frederick to fight the proposed waste-to-energy incinerator on the shores of the Monocacy River. In a 3-2 vote, Commissioners President Blaine Young and commissioners Kirby Delauter and David Gray voted to kill the $471 million incinerator project by canceling the contract and related permits.

On September 23, 2010 at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Ocean City, Maryland, CCAN and other advocates held our first town hall in the campaign to bring offshore wind power to the state. Over two and a half years later, on April 9, 2013, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed the Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013 into law. This landmark legislation will put Maryland on the path to tapping our vast wind energy resource, by incentivizing over 200 megawatts of wind power ten miles off the coast of Ocean City. This is just the first step toward a goal of over 1,000 megawatts of ocean-based wind development in coastal Maryland.

One of the most aggressive energy efficiency laws in the country, EmPOWER directs Maryland utilities to reduce per-capita electricity usage and peak demand by 15 percent below 2007 levels by 2015. (In 2017, new EmPOWER Maryland legislation aimed at reducing Maryland’s electricity usage 25 percent by 2020.)​ 

The Maryland Clean Cars Act requires cleaner and more efficient cars to be sold in Maryland. This policy brought more hybrids to Maryland, reduced cancer-causing pollution, and took the first steps towards regulating carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas, from Maryland cars.

Maryland passed one of the strongest air pollution standards in the country. It required a 70 to 80 percent cut in ozone and mercury emissions by 2013.  It also directed Maryland to join the nation’s first and strongest regional cap-and-trade program, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in 2007.

Building on the success of Maryland, CCAN helped achieve another legislative RPS victory in the neighboring District of Columbia. The new law required up to 11% of the Nation’s capital electricity to come from renewable sources by 2022.

CCAN’s first major legislative battle: Maryland’s RPS was signed into law in 2004. It required 7.5% of Maryland’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2019, and its passage marked the beginning of the modern clean energy movement in this region.


CCAN’s 20th anniversary celebration is a unique opportunity to come together in person with climate activists from across our region and beyond. It is also a unique opportunity to partner with CCAN. Help power our climate work through the decade. Please complete this form if your community or business is interested in sponsoring our anniversary event.


🌎 Four tickets to the celebratory event in October

🌎 Logo or name placed on our 20th
Anniversary swag

🌎 Social media mentions (2 FB, 10 TW, 2 IG) for business sponsors

🌎 All benefits of Crusader, Guardian and Defender levels





🌎 Featured in a 20th Anniversary email

🌎 Featured in a CCAN
quarterly newsletter

🌎 Social media mentions (1 FB, 5 TW, 1 IG) for business sponsors

🌎 All benefits of Guardian and Defender levels



🌎 Social media mentions (5 TW, 1 IG) for business sponsors

🌎 All benefits of Defender level         










🌎 Two tickets to the celebration in October

🌎 CCAN provided training to your group 

🌎 Logo or name placement on the 20th
Anniversary website

🌎 Name in our 20th
Anniversary press

🌎 Opportunity to send an offer to CCAN members of your

🌎 Logo or name displayed at the celebratory event in relevant materials

🌎 Two tickets to the celebratory event in October

🌎 Special edition 20th anniversary t-shirt

🌎 Thank you in our 20th anniversary celebration program








If you work with a non-profit and are interested in participating in the host committee as a partner sponsor. Please contact courtney@chesapeakeclimate.org for more information.