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Make a Big Difference in 15 Minutes

Support the Obama administration’s decision to rescind its proposal to expand offshore oil drilling by writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.

The more letters that appear in American newspapers, the more confident our decision makers can be in taking additional steps to protect our oceans.

STEP 1: Write your letter

  • Find an article about the Obama administration’s December 1 offshore drilling announcement in your local newspaper or on their website.
  • Begin your letter by referring to the article by name. (See sample below.)
  • Write a paragraph or two on the topic, making it as personal to you as possible. (For example, do you enjoy fishing? Seafood? Swimming? Going to the beach? Living in a sustainable environment? Etc.)
  • Keep it short and to the point. 100-150 words at most.
  • Key ideas to communicate:
    1. I support the Obama administration’s decision not to expand offshore oil drilling to new areas.
    2. Congress should pass legislation making this permanent.
    3. I appreciate the role that Oceana played in this victory.
  • Important: do not use any word-for-word statements from the Oceana sample letter in your letter. The sample is for guidance only. Newspapers are looking for 100% original material.
  • Do not submit the same letter to multiple newspapers. It’s great to send letters to multiple papers, just be sure to re-write them a little bit so they aren’t identical.

STEP 2: Submit your letter.

Keep your eyes open for the letter to appear in the paper and/or on their website over the next two weeks. Let us know if you get printed!!

SAMPLE (remember to rewrite this before sending: DO NOT use any part of this sample word-for-word):

To the editor,

In response to ____, I applaud the Obama administration’s decision to rescind its expansion of offshore oil drilling to the east coast and the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

As a frequent beachgoer, I was devastated by the BP drilling disaster. Knowing that drilling could be expanded, I feared that [my beach] could someday too be ruined by a major spill.

Preventing new offshore drilling is the responsible move. It will protect our beaches, coastlines, and ecosystems from the inevitable spills that take place where offshore drilling exists. And it will keep these areas available instead for the badly needed implementation of offshore wind.

Congress must follow the president’s lead and pass legislation making this permanent. I urge Senator ___ to take a stand in favor of banning new offshore drilling.

I appreciate the efforts of organizations like Oceana that have stood up against offshore drilling and made this victory possible.


[your name, address, email address, and telephone number]