Writing a Letter to the Editor

Letters to the Editor (LTEs) get a lot of reader attention and are a great way to get an issue into the public eye or to provide the public (and our elected officials) with additional information about an issue.

LTEs should be under 250 words, the shorter the better. If you refer to a recent event or story, the LTE is more likely to be published. Because of its length, an LTE can only cover one or two points about an issue; it can’t cover all the complexities. You could get together with a friend and each write a letter to the editor that brings up different points or provides different pieces of information relating to the same story or event.

Recent stories that could be mentioned:

1. Closure of Diablo Canyon, California’s last operating nuclear plant, was announced by PG&E. Diablo Canyon’s electricity output will be replaced by efficiency and renewable energy. Many employees will be retained for a proper decommissioning. Help will be offered to communities. This could be a roadmap for the NYS FitzPatrick closure process. http://www.foe.org/news/news-releases/2016-06-diablo-canyon-nuclear-plant-to-be-shut-down LA Times and Washington Post had articles about this announcement

This issue is also relatable to the Alliance for a Green Economy October 2015 White Paper on Replacing FitzPatrick, How the Closure of a Nuclear Reactor can Reduce Greenhouse Gasses and Radioactive Waste, while Creating Jobs and Supporting the Local Community. The paper provides an analysis of replacement scenarios for the FitzPatrick nuclear power plant and shows that the reactor’s entire electricity output could be replaced by lower-cost, clean energy resources with funds left over for worker and community transition support and fossil fuel displacement. http://www.allianceforagreeneconomy.org/replacing_fitzpatrick.pdf

2. Illinois didn’t pass “bailout” legislation that nuclear energy company Exelon asked for. NYS Public Service Commission is currently considering subsidies for NYS nuclear plants. IL didn’t fall for the “give us money; we are losing money” ploy, and neither should NY. http://midwestenergynews.com/2015/01/08/illinois-report-says-exelon-nuclear-straits-not-so-dire/

3. You could comment to dispel one of the myths about nuclear energy. Several have been mentioned in media reports during the past month. Good articles explaining myths about nuclear energy:

  • http://www.energypost.eu/renewable-energy-versus-nuclear-dispelling-myths/
  • http://reneweconomy.com.au/2016/dispelling-the-nuclear-baseload-myth-nothing-renewables-cant-do-better-94486

It’s always a good idea to mention Governor Cuomo in your LTE, as he is the one who initiates many NYS energy policy mandates and his staff notice LTEs that mention him.

Frack Action has a list of NYS newspapers by zip code. You can check the link below if you are not sure where to send your LTE. They provide an email address for each publication too. http://www.frackaction.com/take-action/write-a-letter-to-the-editor/