The Impact Of An Oil Refinery Through The Eyes Of A Thirteen Year Old

Last night I was helping my daughter study for her 7th grade Science test. I was happy to take on that challenge as lately we have been experiencing the I’d-rather-just-hang-out-in-my-room-by-myself-and-ignore-the-world teenager stuff and she was actually very welcoming to have me step foot in her room. Alright honey, let’s talk anemones, asexual reproduction, herbivores and…oil refineries??? Yeah, I’ll get to that but first…

A little background on my sweet thirteen year old.

She’s smart. Like really smart. 4.0 every quarter so far this year and she wants to be a biomedical scientist. She wants to find a cure for cancer and I totally believe she could! She’s MY kid for gawd’s sake..of COURSE she’s brilliant. Ok, ok, I wasn’t a straight A student like her, but I do consider well educated.

At any rate, as she curled up on her bed and I in her chair, we got to a question about sea life and things that are detrimental to their well-being. One of the answers? Oil refineries.


I then quietly asked her if she knew that our town was in the process of building an oil refinery in our city limits.

She looked at me blankly, with that look that teenagers give when they are about to give an eye roll, and said, “What? For real?”

I proceeded cautiously and responded with, “Yes, it’s been in the works for months now.”

It wasn’t even seconds later that I could see the look of frustration on her face. “Are you serious? Whose idea was this? Why? Don’t they realize how horrible this is for the environment? For the air we breathe? For us and the other living beings?”


She became quite interested as to where this oil refinery was going to be located and when it was going to be here. I answered the questions that she had as best as I could and informed her that this “business” will be good for the city’s economy, for job growth and the city will profit off of this immensely.

“So it’s all about money?”

A thirteen year old with common sense, fear and so many questions.


Image via Getty Images

Mamasita Amber
Mama of three children and proud new mama of a standard poodle named Prince Miguel.

33 Responses to “The Impact Of An Oil Refinery Through The Eyes Of A Thirteen Year Old

  • I have always said that kids are very astute at noticing things that adults don’t notice. From the mouths of babes…

  • Kids say it like it is. That is pretty sharp of her. I agree with her but also know it’s a necessary evil.

  • If only the rest of the world were child-like. It is unfortunately all about the all mighty dollar.

    Robin Rue (@massholemommy)
    6 years ago

    Kids notice everything. They pick up so much more than adults.

    aimee fauci
    6 years ago

    Well there is a flip side to this. While it might be bad for the environment …it is necessary for our cars to run. Hopefully something will be invented to make cars run without oil but that is affordable.

  • Amazing, even a child can understand why they do this.

  • It’s always refreshing to hear a child’s perspective. They’re so much more innocent and can cut right to the point. And they’re often much smarter than we give them credit for.

  • Smart kids always pickup on what the true issues at hand are. Godd for her!

  • Money can be for good too. If people with money didn’t donate lots of charitable works would go undone. It’s hard to teach children the delicate balance around greed vs good works.

  • It’s amazing how kids can be in tuned with many things that we tend to overlook as adults.

  • Young children always see the realistic side of things like this.. They say children speak the truth.. We should listen to them more 🙂

  • Kids see more, hear more and know more than we realize! I wish more adults were like kids in this way!

    Amanda McMahon
    6 years ago

    She can volunteer for clean ups and look at non-“essential” petroleum products to stop using.

  • I always value my teen’s input on things. This is exactly why.

    Rachelle J
    6 years ago

    Sometimes hearing something from a child’s perspective can really put things into focus. Great story!

  • Yes, it is all about money…and your daughter is VERY smart. Unfortunately, there are lots of grownups who don’t see the connection, and others who choose to ignore it.

  • I don’t think people realize the impact that an oil refinery has. It’s good to get perspective.

  • My son in law grew up around oil refineries. He is always shocked when we go to a pretty beach because all the beaches he was around were kind of gross.

    Helene Cohen Bludman
    6 years ago

    With kids (and some adults) the issues are often black and white, when in truth they are more complex than that.

  • Sometimes they say exactly what needs to be said. She’s going to grow up to be a very smart individual.

  • You’ve got a smart girl. Sadly, it seems most things come down to money. Especially when elected officials are involved.

  • Love that you are having these kind of conversations with your 13 year old. We need more of this type of engagement between parents and their children. It could lead to great things for all of us and less issues in society.

    Chrissy Mazzocchi
    6 years ago

    Kids are so amazingly perceptive, what a smart 13 year old!

  • It all boils down to money nowadays. I love that you’re having this conversation with your 13-year old though!

  • I was very aware of world issues at 14 – a bit older – and it’s great to see that your daughter is so aware and you are guiding her

  • Sounds like a smart girl and good she is already taking interest in what is going on close to home.

  • Kids are very sharp. What a smart 13 year-old. I wish mine was as smart

  • You must be proud to have such a great little girl. It is great that kids ask questions and want to help shape their future.

  • This is where I would sell my house and move. I would not live near one. Your daughter is right to express her concerns

  • So observant! Kids are often willing to say the things that adults aren’t.

  • What a smart girl! A lot of teenagers could care less about something like this happening.

  • the kid is a genius.hope the world brings up so much kids like that who can change.Am really proud of this kid.

Leave a Reply to Veronica Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *