Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Call On Charlie Baker To Fire Climate Czar David Ismay

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A handful of mostly Republican lawmakers in Massachusetts want the state’s governor to fire David Ismay, the state undersecretary for climate change.

Eight representatives signed a letter to Governor Charlie Baker saying that he needs to immediately dismiss Ismay from his administration in the wake of comments Ismay made in a video uncovered by the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance last week. Seven are Republicans; one is a Democrat.

The eight signers are state representatives Donald Berthiaume (R-Spencer), Nicholas Boldyga (R-Southwick), Peter Durant (R-Spencer), David DeCoste (R-Norwell), Marc Lombardo (R-Billerica), Joseph McKenna (R-Webster), Alyson Sullivan (R-Abington), and Colleen Garry (D-Dracut).

Ismay appeared in a Zoom call with the Vermont Climate Council on Monday, January 25, and said that the Commonwealth needs to “break their will,” referring to ordinary people and their use of fossil fuels.

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 ….”

That “60 percent of our emissions,” he said, comes from residential heating and passenger vehicles.

The Massachusetts legislators told Baker in the letter that this sort of rhetoric from a public official is unacceptable and that the public has the right to worry that he could negatively affect their lives.

“Let us be perfectly clear:  these comments are callous, insensitive, and point to a major, insurmountable disconnect between this appointed member of your administration and the very public he is supposed to be serving,” the legislators wrote. “In the midst of this terrible pandemic, with record unemployment plaguing our state and major economic upheaval threatening our very way of life, the last thing this administration should be doing is ‘turning the screws’ on the ‘senior on fixed income’ and ‘the person across the street.’

“Undersecretary Ismay’s comment that, ‘I can’t even say that publicly,’ clearly point to his own self-awareness of the immoral and indefensible position of his point of view,” the legislators’ letter states. “The general public is lucky to have an opportunity to glean insights into his true feelings on these issues before further harm could be done.”

One of the signers of the letter, state Representative Boldyga, spoke to NewBostonPost by telephone on Tuesday.

He said that the legislators who signed the letter feel they must protect their constituents from people like Ismay.

“Oh, absolutely, any comments made like this, especially in this day and age in the middle of a pandemic with the highest unemployment we’ve seen in a long time,” Boldyga said. “You have a bureaucrat in this administration who has made it clear that he wants to target the elderly and seniors living on fixed incomes because that’s how you’re going to combat climate change. I think this individual is disconnected from reality in every way shape or form if he thinks we’re going to fix climate change by targeting the working class and seniors living on fixed incomes. I’m actually kind of surprised that he wasn’t dismissed immediately.”

“We’re hoping for a response for them and we’re hoping this guy is absolutely dismissed,” Boldyga added. “Hopefully the administration not only gets rid of this guy, but never employs anyone in the future who expresses similar sentiments. It does nothing to help the people of the Commonwealth.”

The office for Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker could not be reached for comment on Tuesday. Nor could Ismay.


Read the letter by clicking the link below:

Ismay Dismissal Letter Feb. 8th