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Your Newspapers’ Editorial Calendar

With the New Year approaching, this is the time to contact your paper about putting climate change on their editorial agenda for 2015. Here’s a story from Citizens Climate Lobby about how this has worked in the past:

My city’s paper is the Wisconsin State Journal. Every year in early January they publish their editorial agenda for the year–5 or 6 issues that they will give extra attention to throughout the year. Other Wisconsin papers do the same thing. Last year my chapter asked the State Journal to put climate change on their agenda. We asked for a meeting to explain why this was important to the community, and included a farmer, business person, scientist, faith leader and retired county executive in the meeting. It worked. The paper put “Lower carbon emissions” as one of their 6 agenda items for the year. This has resulted in about 4 editorials on the subject during the year, and the agenda itself is published on every Sunday paper. )

So contact the editorial staff at your paper and see if you can make such an outcome happen. Now is the time to contact them, because they will be starting to think about 2015 now.


On June 2, the EPA released proposed carbon pollution standards for America’s power plants, which create 40% of our CO2 pollution, and whose emissions are currently entirely unregulated. The standards, which the EPA has dubbed their “Clean Power Plan” (don’t you love that framing?) are facing a barrage of propaganda from the fossil-fuel industry. Because each state must come up with its own plan to meet the standards, the quality of those plans depends a lot on how much citizens advocate for plans that emphasize closing the dirtiest coal plants and promote conservation, efficiency, and renewables.

You can help: Let the world know that you’re serious about getting a handle on climate change. Here’s a menu of ACTION OPTIONS: Do as much as you can as soon as you can *(and give yourself a big hug)*!!!

1. Submit comments to the EPA (due by Nov 30) Copy (to your clipboard) the following sample comment then follow these instructions:

Thank you for proposing limits on carbon pollution from power-plants. Limiting carbon pollution from power plants is a crucial step to protect global health and safety. Unfortunately, the proposed Clean Power Plan falls far short of what is needed: obtaining at least 80% of our energy from non-fossil fuel sources by 2050. EPA should call for more ambitious reductions of at least 40% by 2030, and insure states stick to the schedule by allowing for no extensions on plans for 2020.

States should be encouraged to achieve these goals by closing fossil fuel plants to the full extent possible through maximizing efficiency and aggressively increasing renewables.

It is important to me that the final rule for the Clean Power Plan explicitly lists a carbon tax as an option for states to comply with the standards. It is also important that guidance be provided to states on implementation and administration of such a tax, including acceptable dollar amounts and escalation rates. States should have as many options as possible available to them, as long as they are effective in reducing carbon emissions. 


2. Clicktivist ways to submit public comments to the EPA
Tell the EPA you support the Clean Power Plan goals. In your comments, ask for stronger limits, especially after 2020…

3. Use our Letter To the Editor templates and send your customized version to as many newspapers as you can, TODAY. Use this link to help you find newspapers in your state.

4. Set up Google Alerts to scan your newspapers for Letter to the Editor and Op-Ed opportunities. The tutorial for creating customized Google Alerts (that will ONLY scan specific newspapers) is here.

5. Use our Op-Ed templates and send your customized version to as many newspapers as you can. Use this link to help you find newspapers in your state Here’s a Letter to the Editor template for you

6. Always: Call/email/visit the editorial staff of your local papers and ask for a meeting to talk about the carbon rules.
7. RECRUIT: Take advantage of outreach events to recruit new members and spread the word about the carbon rules. Be sure and take your state fact sheets. Participation Form


The Sierra Club Beyond Coal campaign has events organized in many states. To find an event in your state, go to this page, select your state, and click on “Get Involved.” OFA (Organizing for Action (used to be Organizing for America / Obama): has events around the country. Use this link to find one near you. Enter your zipcode, then use the  “Go To Advanced Search” button and then search for Climate Change –Action in the “Type of Event” box. Then click on “Find Events.