Letter to the editor: Fossil-fuel choices must consider future generations

Patricia Heather-Lea composed this letter to the House Energy and Technology Committee after being unable to speak at hearings held on Tuesday, April 23, due to time constraints.
I am a retired public high school math teacher. I taught here in Vermont for over 30 years. Before we made important decisions at our high school, we needed to answer this question, “Is it good for kids?”
Thank you for your work. It is very important. You have the power to determine aspects of our future, here in Vermont and in our world, at large. These are not normal times. You must reflect and respond in ways that perhaps you have not used before. The time has come to reset priorities.
I think that banning fossil fuel infrastructures in Vermont is a step that needs to be taken, with the public good in mind. I want the public good to include future voting generations. Right now, these human beings do not yet exist and/or are not of age to vote on issues that will have an impact on their lives.
On Sunday, I asked an eleven-year-old boy what message he would like me to bring to you. He said, “ I want them to shut it down. People’s lives are at risk.”  That is his response to the natural gas pipeline. How are young people’s ideas and concerns taken into consideration by the Vermont Legislature? I suggest bringing in photos of your children and grandchildren and place them by your desks and tables where you make decisions. Then you can remember to ask yourselves some guiding questions. You need to figure out what guidance you need. “Is it good for kids?”  is a great place to start.
Patricia Heather-Lea

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