What can be said about the BP oil spill that hasn’t already been said? Plenty — and you and I should be saying it.
I’m inspired today by Plug In America co-founder Lisa Rosen, who wrote this in a letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times that begins:
“The hand wringing about the oil spill seems distant to me. Since my family started driving electric cars and using solar for our energy the last decade I feel psychologically distant. It is like watching senseless carnage from afar. Murphy’s law has not been repealed. What is astonishing to me is that anyone is surprised by this…”
It made me realize I’ve been sitting here in an inactive funk, stunned by the enormity of the disaster flowing into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon well thanks to BP (formerly British Petroleum, now claiming the ironic slogan “beyond petroleum”). What are we waiting for? Let’s all write letters to the editor! This is a teachable moment, a chance for all of us to point out the obvious and have it noticed for a change — plug-in vehicles can get us off of oil, and people can finally buy them this year!
So let your words flow like the crude that’s pouring out of BP’s well, but put a cap on it — no more than 250 words — for the best chance to have your letter published. Include your name, full address, and daytime and evening phone numbers so they can verify your letter. (Only your name and city will appear if they print your letter.) Do not include any attachments.
Search for the name of your local newspaper and “letters to the editor” to get the email or website for submitting letters. Or, choose one of these major papers (but don’t send the same letter to more than one paper):
The New York Times — firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wall Street Journal — email@example.com
The Washington Post — firstname.lastname@example.org
USA Today — email@example.com
The Los Angeles Times — firstname.lastname@example.org
The Orange County Register — email@example.com
San Francisco Chronicle — firstname.lastname@example.org
Every time you visit a website where people are commenting on the BP oil spill, give them the message of hope about electric vehicles.
We can simply moan and lament the loss of life and ecosystems to the BP oil spill, or we can also act. Write a letter. Comment on websites and in online forums. Order a plug-in car and dump your petroleum-dependent monster this year. Give a copy of Charged Up & Ready To Roll: The Definitive Guide To Plug-in Electric Vehicles to a friend, neighbor or family member. Point people to Plug In America. Or click here to send a contribution to Plug In America to support our outreach and education efforts.
And if your letter gets printed or a neighbor says, “Thank you,” do let us know.
— Sherry Boschert
Photo of fire at Deepwater Horizon well by Otto Candles for uscgpress on flickr (Creative Commons license).
Satellite image of oil spill spread by NASA Goddard Photo and Video on flickr (Creative Commons).