Help End Coal's Reign in Nebraska: Write a Letter to the Editor

​Writing a letter to the editor is one of the most effective ways you can encourage friends and neighbors to take action on an issue you care about.

When writing, try to strike a balance between passion and information. Also, make sure to note that the problem is not insurmountable--there are solutions, we just have to implement them.

If you have questions or would like help crafting your own letter to your local paper, contact us at: Virginia Meyer, or Lu Nelsen, . (Click the infograph to make it larger!)

Below are some sample letters to the editor that we've worked up:

Example 1

I was concerned by a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists that stated that Nebraska is fourth on the list of states that spend the most per capita on importing coal, spending $203 per person each year. This seems like a significant waste of our hard-earned money, especially given that we have numerous other energy sources that we could use.

Some of these could be had right here in our state, but relying too heavily on coal costs us twice--we have to pay out more as the price of coal goes up, while also missing out on economic opportunities locally. We can begin retiring the aging coal plants in our state, and also invest in renewables or energy efficiency. Instead of sending our money to Wyoming to buy coal, we could spend that money right here in Nebraska to develop renewable energy, which is getting cheaper all the time.

Example 2

The fact that our largest public utility in the state is now over-producing power means this is a good time to retire aging coal plants in Nebraska. Continuing to run these plants puts the natural resources we value and even depend upon at serious risk.

Coal plants pump a significant amount of pollution into the air and water, with coal plants across the country producing more than 386,000 tons of hazardous pollution each year in the United States. We’ve already seen serious complications from accidents involving coal waste, and we know that the emissions from coal can wind up in our water supplies. It is essential that we protect our natural resources--not just for ourselves, but for our children.

Example 3

Coal-fired power plants produce 386,000 tons of carbon pollution each year, more than any other industrial source in the United States. This pollution isn’t just a threat to our land, air, and water; but also to our health. The particular pollution emitted by coal plants has been linked to several serious health conditions, ranging from heart disease and stroke to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma.

We have to take steps to reduce this pollution, for the good of communities. One step we can take is to begin retiring aging coal plants that are out-of-date, and require expensive upgrades to meet Clean Air Act standards.


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