Letter to Future Councilwoman

Dear Jessica Lappin

Congratulations on winning the Democratic primary. I wish you the best of luck as you begin your time as a city councilwoman. I have read your positions on the major issues addressed on your campaign website and I broadly support your ideas. One issue that I care deeply about and write about at my blog is making NYC more sustainable and less dependent on fossil fuels.

As I'm sure you are well aware the prices of all major energy inputs (coal, oil, natural gas) that the city relies on have risen dramatically since 2002 and in particular recently in the wake of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. While these price increases may seem temporary, they will likely persist and even worsen considerably during your term as a city councilwoman.

There is a theory believed among many geologists, academics and oil industry experts that the world many be near it's peak in oil and natural gas production. That means we will not be able to physically continue to increase the rate of extraction of oil and gas from the ground. This is not saying that we will "run out" of oil, but we will have to adjust to a steadily decreasing supply of oil - either through conservation or replacement of other sources, if possible.

This is just something that I would like you to consider. I'm hoping that a better understanding of the issues will give you more perspective on the current situation. Think about it and come to your own conclusions.

You can learn more about the theory of peak oil at these websites:

Good introductions: Wikipedia, Energy Bulletin, Peakoil.com

More scary Scenarios: Saintbryan, Kunstler, Matt Savinar, dieoff.com

I wrote an introduction of my own about the subject of peak oil - "What is Peak Oil?" and what this means for our way of life.

All I ask from you is to do what you can to make NYC less dependent on non-renewable sources of energy. I invite you to read my proposals for a more sustainable way of life, including specific ideas for NYC:  congestion pricing, car-free parks, harrassment-free biking, more investment in mass transit alternatives, better mass transit quality, better freight rail links, and more hybird Taxis and alternative fuel cars

Again, congratulations on your primary win and thanks for listening. I invite your questions. I would be happy to meet with you or members of your staff to explain the concept of peak oil in more detail.

name, address, phone, email...

Tip: Try to keep it as short as possible. It has more chances of being read that way.

I'm not saying it's too long, but if you can shave off some words, it probably would help.

I figure I'll send her a letter every week about something specific, so in those I will as you suggest keep it shorter. As this was my introductory letter, I thought I would try to explain a little more detail and provide links for background information.
Response from Jessica Lappin:

Thank you for taking the time to email me.  I took a look at your blog over the weekend and read more about making NYC more sustainable.

I agree with you on many fronts:  we should encourage the use of mass transportation and fight for Bus Rapid Transit and a 2nd Avenue Subway on the East Side; our taxi fleet should include more fuel efficient vehicles, like hybrids; and our city should encourage green building in the private sector.

I will certainly keep your views in mind as I work towards crafting a legislative agenda in the months ahead.

Jessica Lappin
Candidate for City Council, 5th District