My Experience at the EPA Hearing

Lauren is a student in Atlanta

Lauren Smith w_ Region 4 EPA Staff (2) (1)On Wednesday, July 30th 2014, I spoke at an EPA hearing in Atlanta on the Clean Power Plan, a proposal to limit C02 emissions from coal-fired power plants. The Clean Power Plan is crucial to helping us avoid some of the devastating consequences of climate change I was very motivated to speak at this hearing because I feel strongly about that big power plants should not be allowed to emit CO2 at dangerously high levels. We are already dealing with the effects of climate change around the world. I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t want future generations to have to live with the consequences of our bad choices today.

I was a little nervous to be speaking at the hearing because I’m a teenager and most of the people there were adults, but I didn’t let them intimidate me. I knew why I was there:to publicly show my support for the Clean Power Plan. I needed to let everyone know that not only are adults supporting this plan, but we young people are too, and they shouldn’t underestimate our power. While many people my age don’t believe that they have the power to make change, they do. Just by speaking up on certain issues, you are already taking the first step towards making a change.

I walked up to the microphone and raised my voice in support for the Clean Power Plan. I executed my speech with clearness, precision, and a good amount of projection to make sure everyone was listening to me because I am the future and I have something to say! While I was up there every nervous bone in my body seemed to go away because I was speaking from my heart. This was one of the best experiences of my life because I was able to vocalize my opinions; really giving me confidence and assuring me that people will listen to me. As I finished and I heard the claps and cheers from my family and the audience I knew that I had done a great job. I gave myself a pat on the back ☺