Teresa Lee Dowd Hurlburt, 10: Young student loves environment, urges government to nix pipeline

By Teresa Lee Dowd Hurlburt
Published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette

Like most 10-year-olds, I love the outdoors and love exploring nature. It seems that the best part of living in New England is the wildlife and all the people who care about it so much.

At the Hitchcock Center for the Environment in Amherst, my friends and I listen and look around for clues in nature for fun. I did a wood frog project and found out that a group of scientists is creating an organ-freezing substance based on the wood frog’s antifreeze. They successfully used it to transplant a rabbit kidney, and they are now focusing on creating real organ banks for humans.

The environment teaches us many things. That is why I believe it would be wrong for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to allow Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline in Massachusetts. The pipeline would transport fracked gas. In fracking, toxic materials are injected into the earth. This is so out of step with what is happening in classrooms. Kids are winning science fairs, grants, or college scholarships not for fracking ideas, but for working with renewable resources and non-fossil alternative energy.

We are worried about endangered and other species that could be lost and all the non-endangered species that could very well go extinct because of their habitats being destroyed for and by the pipeline.

The impact of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline would be the greatest for those with the smallest voices, like the wood frog. At first glance, it seems like just a tiny, unimportant amphibian, but if you look closely, it is helping scientists towards saving thousands of lives every year because its antifreeze inspired them to make a substance that can preserve organs. The frog is only small until the right person comes along needing a new organ to save their life. And that’s all because of the amazing little wood frog.

FERC, say no to fracking and the pipeline and yes to renewable energy.

Teresa Lee Dowd Hurlburt, 10

Full letter available here.

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