By Alex Malm, Politics FitzU
On Tuesday, September 29th, the Franklin Pierce University Field House held an event unlike what usually takes place there.
Instead of dunking hoops in basketball or volleyball players spiking on the court, the home of the Ravens hosted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) scoping meeting for a pipeline proposed to go through the region.
With over 600 people in attendance, many elected officials, town representatives, and of course residents, weighed in their opinion on the pipeline project. While many people spoke in length about the problems they would face with taxes, property, and the resistance to allowing this pipeline to be installed, a demographic many would not imagine to play a role in a scoping meeting made a stand. This group is the “Kidz of the Pipeline Resistance”, a group of children from New Ipswich, Rindge, Fitzwilliam, and surrounding towns.
Two eloquent speeches by children under the age of 12 with a fairly large group of children behind them spoke not as a property owners, not as taxpayers, but instead as the people who will be affected by the pipeline decision the longest as they are the future.
The speeches by the children even if it was just for a few moments gave the crowd a whole new perspective to think about in regards to the pipeline. The children didn’t speak about money, property, or government being too big. They instead talked about how this decision will affect them the future of New Hampshire and how many people, specifically FERC, are not considering them in the equation.
The speeches by the future of New Hampshire brought many different emotions from crowd members. People cried, people smiled, people laughed. Asides from the emotional factors, and even the content of the speeches given, what the comments made by the children did was allow them a place at the adult table when it comes to decisions regarding the pipeline.