The Chesapeake Climate Action Network, is the Capital Area chapter of U.S. Climate Action Network and Climate Action Network-International (CAN-I). It was founded in July 2002 with a seed grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.1 USCAN is the national affiliate of Climate Action Network International, a global conglomerate of over 1100 environmentalist groups.
CCAN has spent time lobbying Washington politicians. In 2015, the organization hired lobbyist Kenneth Forsberg2 to lobby in support of HR 1027 (called The Healthy Climate and Family Security Act of 2015) which aimed to reduce the use of fossil fuels during the production of goods and services by imposing taxes and requiring companies to purchase government permits.3 CCAN is well known in the D.C. area for its aggressive leftism: The Washington Post noted that anti-Trump Administration groups were raising funds for its D.C. area operations. 4 The organization has challenged and protested the Washington Nationals for receiving financial support from ExxonMobil. Exxon’s funds were directly supporting the promotion of a more environmentally friendly stadium.5
CCAN’s methods of climate alarmism are controversial even within the environmentalist community. The anti-corporate environmentalist publication Desmogblog called out CCAN’s director, Mike Tidwell, in a multipart critique challenging his “misuse of science to serve political ends.”6 Further, Desmogblog suggested Tidwell’s activism would inspire people “to take counterproductive actions.”7 CCAN has feuded with other environmentalists about wind energy.8
CCAN activists have a record of controversial demonstrations. Protests like one involving dumping coal on U.S. Capitol property9 caused police to log Tidwell and other members of CCAN in a database as being “suspected of involvement in terrorism” for a 13 month stretch, though no charges were ultimately filed.10
Chesapeake Climate Action Network lists numerous groups as “Allied Organizations.” 11 They include:
Regional and Federal Allies
Don’t Frack Maryland
Interfaith Power & Light
Mom’s Organic Market
Food and Water Watch
HoCo Climate Change
Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake
Maryland League of Conservation Voters
Maryland Environmental Health Network
Virginia and Washington, D.C. Allies
Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards
Virginia Conservation Network
DC Environmental Network
CCAN’s most important employees have backgrounds in the environmentalist and labor movements. 12
Founder and Executive Director
Mike Tidwell, the founder and executive director of CCAN, has authored several books including The Ravaging Tide: Strange Weather, Future Katrinas, and the Coming Death of America’s Coastal Cities as well as created the documentary film – “We Are All Smith Islanders”.
Deputy Director and Chief Financial Officer
The deputy director and chief financial officer of CCAN, Kirsten Collings, is a member of the board of directors of Green Corps, an environmental advocacy group affiliated with the Public Interest Network.
Senior General Counsel
Anne Havemann, the senior general counsel and foundation grants manager of CCAN, previously worked at the Center for Progressive Reform as well as clerked for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the American Wind Energy Association.
Carbon Pricing Coordinator
The carbon pricing coordinator, Camila Thorndike, co-founded Our Climate in 2013, an advocacy group focused on carbon pricing laws, and previously worked for the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution. Thorndike was also a fellow of the Center for Diversity and Environment and a former board member of the Geos Institute and Watershed Management Group.
Board of Directors
The Cheseapeake Climate Action Network board contains 13 board members, all with background in the environmentalist movement. 13
The Chairman of the Board for CCAN, David Goodrich, previously served as Director for both the Climate Observations Division at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Global Climate Observing Systems at the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Board Vice Chair, Sat Jiwan Ikle-Khalsa, is the current president of Save Our Sky Home Heating Cooperative and a monthly columnist for “Going Green” at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Voice. He also previously worked at the Center for a New American Dream.
Jonathan Pearson, the board secretary, who previously worked with the Maryland Save Our Steams and Amnesty International USA, currently sits as the Advocacy Coordinator for the National Peace Corps Association; the Board Treasurer, Ted Rouse, is the president of Healthy Planet LLC.
Additional board members include Charlie Garlow, an Air Enforcement Attorney for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Albert Nunez, co-founder of the Capital Sun Group in 1997; and Lise Van Susteren, a board member for the National Wildlife Federation.
- “Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Inc.” Ballotpedia. Accessed July 05, 2017. https://ballotpedia.org/Chesapeake_Climate_Action_Network,_Inc.
- ” Chesapeake Climate Action Network: Summary”. OpenSecrets.org. Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed July 05, 2017. https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=F129477&year=2015.
- “Chesapeake Climate Action Network’s 2015 Second Quarter Filing.” Find the Company. Accessed July 05, 2017. http://lobbying-filings.findthecompany.com/l/1618936/082DFEFD-2692-4A13-A6F0-86CFCF3F3E06.
- Dingfelder, Sadie. “D.C.’s post-election freakout is bipartisan and ongoing. Here’s how we’re coping.” The Washington Post. March 30, 2017. Accessed June 28, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/express/wp/2017/03/30/d-c-s-post-election-freakout-is-bipartisan-and-ongoing-heres-how-were-coping/ .
- Becker, Bernie. “Baseball Team Clashes With Environmentalists Over Oil Company Advertising.” The New York Times. July 26, 2008. Accessed June 28, 2017. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/27/us/27stadium.html.
- Mooney, Chris. “The Mike Tidwell Dilemma, Part I.” DeSmogBlog. N.p., 24 Oct. 2007. Web. 12 July 2017.
- Mooney, Chris. “The Mike Tidwell Dilemma, Part II.” DeSmogBlog. N.p., 31 Oct. 2007. Web. 12 July 2017.
- Barringer, Felicity. “Debate Over Wind Power Creates Environmental Rift.” The New York Times. June 05, 2006. Accessed June 28, 2017. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/06/us/06wind.html.
- “Common Dreams NewsWire.” Common Dreams NewsCenter. May 14, 2003. Accessed June 28, 2017. http://www.commondreams.org/0503newswire.htm.
- Revkin, Andrew C. “Climate Campaigners Were on Terrorist List.” The New York Times. October 23, 2008. Accessed June 28, 2017. https://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/23/climate-campaigners-on-terrorist-list/.
- Trout, Kelly. “Allies.” Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Accessed July 05, 2017. http://chesapeakeclimate.org/allies/.
- Trout, Kelly. “Staff.” Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Accessed July 05, 2017. http://chesapeakeclimate.org/staff/.
- Trout, Kelly. “Board of Directors.” Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Accessed July 05, 2017. http://chesapeakeclimate.org/board-of-directors/.