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Lincoln Students Testify before Maine DEP

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Lincoln Students Testify before Maine DEP
Posted on 05/17/2018
This is the image for the news article titled Lincoln Students Testify before Maine DEP

Lincoln Middle School students Devyn Shaughnessy and Asfia Jawed were among Maine students who recently testified before the Maine Department of Environmental Protection regarding their concerns about climate change.

Devyn, an eighth-grader, and Asfia, a seventh-grader, and Christel Driscoll, Lincoln's sustainability science teacher, all spoke at a Maine DEP public hearing in Augusta on May 16. They testified in support of a petition to give teeth to a 2003 Maine law that proposed a long-term state goal of greenhouse gas emission reductions. The proposed rules seek greenhouse gas emission reductions of at least 8 percent each year, which correlates to Maine reducing its emissions to approximately 75 percent below 2003 levels by the year 2035.

Lincoln students in Driscoll’s classes heard about the petition when two members of 350 Maine spoke to the classes. 350 Maine is a grassroots network working across the state to address climate change. Lincoln students taking Driscoll’s Sustainability Science course this past winter collected close to 170 signatures from students, staff and families in support of the petition.

Shaughnessy and Jawed were the youngest students to testify at the hearing. Other testifiers included Kennebunk high school's Environmental Club, Maine business owners, UMO professor, farmers, lawyers, and residents, speaking either for or against the petition.

The students were interviewed by a Maine Public radio reporter prior to presenting their testimonies. Devyn stated in the interview: "It's kind of sounding like a death sentence. It sounds like this inevitable world ending because of what we're doing, and there's nothing that we as kids can do about it. It's up to the adults. And it's frustrating because the adults aren't doing anything about it, because they won't be here. It's our problem.”  Asfia is hoping that Maine will be a leader in combating climate change. "Maybe if Maine could start getting less carbon emissions we could help the world see that they can do it and we could expand it so that maybe we can become carbon free," she said. 

Read the Maine Public story here: http://mainepublic.org/post/students-demand-maine-dep-act-reduce-greenhouse-gas-emissions

PHOTO: Lincoln Middle School students Devyn Shaughnessy (left) and Asfia Jawed testified before the Maine DEP on May 16 regarding their concerns about climate change.