Charlie Baker Climate Undersecretary: State Must Break People’s Will To Reduce Climate Emissions

Printed from:

David Ismay, the state undersecretary for climate change under Massachusetts Republican governor Charlie Baker, said in a recent Zoom call that the Commonwealth needs to “break their will” when referring to ordinary people and their use of fossil fuels.

Ismay made the remarks in a Zoom call with the Vermont Climate Council on Monday, January 25.

The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance obtained a clip of the meeting and posted it on the alliance’s YouTube channel.

During the Zoom call, Ismay said, “So let me say that again, 60 percent of our emissions that need to be reduced come from you, the person across the street, the senior on fixed income, right … there is no bad guy left, at least in Massachusetts to point the finger at, to turn the screws on, and you know, to break their will, so they stop emitting. That’s you. We have to break your will. Right, I can’t even say that publicly ….”

The “60 percent of our emissions” he refers to in the video come from residential heating and passenger vehicles, he says.

Ismay could not immediately be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

Ismay’s comments were condemned by MassFiscal in a statement from spokesman Paul Craney.

“Ismay’s comments are simply reprehensible. He describes his target as ordinary people in Massachusetts like the elderly on fixed incomes and the person across the street,” Craney said in the written statement. “They’re his target simply because they cannot change their lifestyles enough to be acceptable to his climate agenda. The weapon he intends to use to ‘turn the screws’ on them is the new climate legislation and administrative tax increases like the Transportation and Climate Initiative, which seek to drive up costs in order to “break their will” and force decreases in consumption.”

“It’s frightening to think an official so high up in the Baker administration is bragging to an out of state group about the economic pain he wants to inflict on the very people who he’s supposed to work for,” Craney added. “Remarks like this have no place in state government. Ismay should be dismissed from his position in state government, as he’s clearly demonstrated he does not have the best interests of the residents of Massachusetts at heart.”

The press office for Governor Charlie Baker could not be reached for comment on Friday.