Every citizen has a voice and the power to shape the world around them. One of the most effective ways to do this is through the written word. A Letter to the Editor, commonly referred to as an LTE, is a powerful tool to influence public opinion and bring about change.

This webpage is designed to assist you in crafting a compelling LTE focused on phasing out fracking in Colorado. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has significant impacts on our environment, health, and economy. Your voice in this matter is crucial. Through your LTE, you can help create awareness, spur conversations, and even influence policy decisions.

General Tips for Writing a Letter to the Editor (LTE)

When writing an LTE, here are some points to consider:

  • Choose a Strong, Concise Title: Your title should be punchy and engaging. It’s the first thing readers see and can determine if your letter gets read or not. Make sure it accurately reflects what your letter is about.
  • Keep it Brief and to The Point: Most publications prefer LTEs that are under 200 words. Be concise and stick to one major point or argument. Make every word count.
  • Make Sure Your Argument is Clear and Well-Supported: State your opinion clearly and back it up with facts. The more logically sound and factually accurate your letter is, the more seriously it will be taken.
  • Use Persuasive Language: Your goal is to convince others. Use persuasive language, but avoid personal attacks or unsubstantiated claims. Respectful, fact-based arguments are most effective.
  • Proofread Before Submission: Errors can undermine your credibility. Make sure your letter is free of grammatical errors and typos. If possible, have someone else review your letter before submitting it.

Remember, your voice matters. By following these guidelines, you can craft a powerful LTE that could potentially bring about real change in our approach towards fracking in Colorado.

Talking Points on Phasing Out Fracking

The Colorado Fiscal Institute published a revealing study in January 2023 – The Real Costs and Benefits of Oil and Gas for Colorado, which is an excellent source for talking points. Many of the stats in the following section are sourced from that study.

Here are some important points to consider while arguing for the phase-out of fracking:

Understanding Fracking and Its Ecological Impact

Fracking is a technique used to extract natural gas and oil from deep within the earth. It involves injecting high volumes of water, sand, and chemicals into rock formations at high pressure, resulting in numerous environmental and health risks. Habitat degradation and destruction is often a result of oil and gas industry activities.

Negative Health Consequences of Fracking in Colorado

Colorado is no stranger to the adverse effects of fracking. Noteworthy health issues related to fracking include respiratory problems and low birth weights. Living near oil and gas developments in Colorado is associated with higher rates of leukemia among young people. Water contamination, methane emissions, and air quality issues are main talking points here.

Economic Perspective

While the oil and gas industry does contribute significantly to Colorado’s economy, it’s crucial to consider the hidden costs. For instance, the boom-bust cycle of the industry can create economic instability. The costs associated with health impacts, road damage, emergency response for accidents, and negative effects on property values and agricultural productivity often go unnoticed.

  • The oil and gas industry in Colorado represents a small fraction of the economy, contributing 3.3% of Colorado’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2021. As of March, 2022, oil and gas industry employees represented only 0.7% of Colorado’s workforce, and they received 1.8% of wages paid in Colorado.
  • Revenue from oil and gas comes from severance taxes, leases and royalties from oil and gas use of public lands, fees and penalties, and severance taxes. All these taxes, fees, leases, and royalties, along with income tax from oil and gas workers, totals only 1.7% of total state and local revenue in Colorado. The largest portion of tax revenue from oil and gas in Colorado comes from local property taxes.
  • The costs of the oil and gas industry to the state include lowered property values, lowered air quality and the
    associated health impacts, habitat loss and fragmentation, water use and quality, and greenhouse gas emissions and the costs associated with those emissions. The social cost of carbon for all of the emissions created during drilling, production, and transmission of oil and gas in Colorado is 1.5 times greater than the revenue the state collects from the oil and gas industry.

Climate Crisis Perspective

We know a phase out is necessary: The UN Environment Programme and the International Energy Agency say we need to stop new fossil fuel development and slow down production immediately in order to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Improving Lives by Phasing Out Fracking

By eliminating fracking, Colorado could foster a cleaner environment and safer living conditions for its residents. Additionally, it could stimulate economic growth in a more sustainable way. Investing in renewable energy industries would not only be more sustainable but could also provide stable, long-term employment opportunities.

Personalizing Your LTE

Adding a personal touch to your LTE can significantly enhance its impact. If you or someone you know has experienced the effects of fracking firsthand, share that story. Personal anecdotes can provide a clearer picture than statistics alone.

Incorporating research into your letter can lend additional weight to your argument. Use studies and data to substantiate your points but remember to cite your sources accurately for credibility.

Submitting Your LTE

Once you’ve crafted your LTE, the next step is to submit it. Here are some guidelines to follow during the submission process:

  • Understand the Submission Process: Each publication has its own submission process. Visit the editorial or opinion section of their website to find their specific guidelines. These usually include word limits, submission methods (like online forms or email), and information you need to provide.
  • Adapt According to Different Outlets: If you’re submitting to multiple outlets, remember that each one might have slightly different requirements. Make sure to tailor your LTE accordingly.
  • Handle Potential Revisions or Feedback: Some publications may suggest revisions before publishing your LTE. Be open to their feedback and make necessary changes while maintaining the essence of your argument.

After Your LTE is Published

Getting your LTE published is a significant achievement, but your advocacy doesn’t end there. Here’s what you can do next:

  • Confirm if Your Letter Has Been Published: Keep checking the publication or ask for a notification when your letter is published.
  • Promote Your LTE for Maximum Reach: Share your published LTE on social media, through email newsletters, or within local community groups. This not only extends the reach of your letter but also sparks conversations around the issue.
  • Stay Engaged Beyond the LTE: Your LTE could be the start of more significant advocacy work. Participate in local community meetings, join relevant organizations or campaigns, or even consider writing more on the subject.

Expanding Your Advocacy Beyond LTEs

While LTEs are a powerful tool for change, they’re not the only way to advocate for the phase-out of fracking in Colorado. You can carry the same message through various forms of media. Here are a few ideas:

  • Social Media Posts: Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are excellent for spreading your message. You can write posts or create graphics that highlight the key points from your LTE. Remember to use relevant hashtags to increase visibility. #PhaseOutFracking2030 is one hashtag for this movement.
  • Videos: Videos are a compelling way to share information. Consider creating a short video that encapsulates the main points of your LTE. You can share personal stories, use animations, or include clips from relevant news reports or documentaries. Share these videos on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok.
  • Podcasts: If you enjoy speaking, consider starting a podcast or recording an episode on the issue. You can invite experts or community members affected by fracking to discuss the topic. You can also appear as a guest on an existing podcast by pitching local podcasts on the topic of a fracking phase out and speaking out during an episode.
  • Community Forums and Discussions: Participate in community forums or organize discussions on the topic. This can be done at local community centers, schools, or even virtually.
  • Blogs or Articles: If you enjoy writing, consider starting a blog or writing articles on the issue. This provides an opportunity to delve deeper into the topic than an LTE allows.

Remember, the goal is to engage as many people as possible in the conversation about phasing out fracking in Colorado. Each form of media has its strengths and reaches different audiences, so explore various methods to amplify your message!

Some Words of Encouragement and More Ideas to Raise Awareness

Writing a compelling LTE is more than just expressing your opinion; it’s about engaging in a community-wide conversation and advocating for change. The issue of fracking in Colorado is a pressing one, with implications for our environment, health, and economy.

Your voice matters! Use it wisely to bring about change. The journey towards phasing out fracking in Colorado begins with raising awareness, and your LTE can be a significant step in that direction.

Remember, every big change starts with small steps. Your initiative to write an LTE can inspire others to do the same, creating a ripple effect that can bring about substantial change.