A climate official in Massachusetts is under fire from his own governor for disturbing remarks he made in a meeting with the Vermont Climate Council last month. It was revealed this week that Massachusetts Undersecretary for Climate Change David Ismay told the attendees that the state has run out of corporations and other “bad guys” to go after in the quest to reduce emissions. Now, he said, it’s time to put the screws to the general public.
“I know one thing that we found in our analysis is that 60% of our emissions come from – as I have it started to say you and me, except you guys are in Vermont – 60% of our emissions come from residential heating and passenger vehicles,” Ismay said.
“Let me say that again: 60% of our emissions that need to be reduced come from you, the person on your street, the senior on fixed-income,” he continued. “Right now there is no bad guy left, at least in Massachusetts, to point the finger at and turn the screws on and now break their will so they stop emitting. That’s you. We have to break your will.”
At the conclusions of his remarks, Ismay acknowledged the obvious: “I can’t even say that publicly.”
Well, he probably shouldn’t have said it anywhere.
Gov. Charlie Baker (R-MA) blasted Ismay in comments to reporters after the clip was posted.
“First of all, no one who works in our administration should ever say or think anything like that,” Baker said. “Secondly, Secretary Theoharides is going to have a conversation with him about that. And third, one of the main reasons we didn’t sign the climate bill when it got to our desk was because we were specifically concerned about the impact it was going to have on people’s ability to pay for many of the pieces that were in it, which means it also doesn’t represent administration policy or position.”
The clip of Ismay was publicized by the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance. They, too, released a statement criticizing the climate official.
“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,” an MFA spokesman said. “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.”