A Massachusetts climate official said normal Americans who drive gas-fueled cars and heat their homes need to have their “will” broken in order to effectively fight climate change.
David Ismay, Massachusetts’s undersecretary for climate change, said during a virtual meeting with the Vermont Climate Council that targeting middle class families that rely on fossil fuels must be a priority for climate activists.
“I know one thing that we found in our analysis is that 60% of our emissions come from … residential heating and passenger vehicles,” Ismay explained.
“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.”
The state needs to start taking away emission-producing sources of energy completely or punishing those who still use them, Ismay argued.
“We can’t have no offshore wind, no transmission, no solar, and have clean energy,” he said. “Something has to give. There has to be some mechanism we trust to find a place to site a transmission line.”
Ismay admitted his solution would not be popular.
“I can’t even say that publicly,” he told the council.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker agreed with the last part. The centrist Republican leader blasted Ismay for vilifying working Americans.
“First of all, no one who works in our administration should ever say or think anything like that,” Baker said in response.
“Secondly, Secretary Theoharides is going to have a conversation with him about that,” Baker continued. “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.”