Commentary

Turn the screws on them and break their will

by Don Keelan

David Ismay, an attorney and former senior official of the Massachusetts governor’s administration, is not, I assume, a well-known name in Vermont. However, he should be.

Don Keelan

According to Vermont Daily, until February 10, 2021, Ismay was the Massachusetts Undersecretary for Climate Change (with an annual salary of $130,000) working from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. But for remarks in a video conference he allegedly made on January 25, 2021, he had no choice but to submit his resignation to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

To paraphrase what he stated before a group of Vermonters representing the Vermont Climate Council, “if you want to bring about a reduction in emissions, you will have to turn the screws on homeowners and older people, and break their will.”

According to the Boston Herald’s reporting on the comments, Ismay deeply regrets what he stated before the Vermont Climate Council. Furthermore, the remarks, as reported, were not really what he meant.

Frankly, I don’t really care that Ismay is no longer employed nor how he wishes his comments were interpreted differently. What bothers me is that representatives from the Vermont Climate Council would ever meet with out-of-state-official harboring such views.

If a public official makes such a statement as “turn the screws on them and break their wills” publicly, imagine what he might do privately when dealing with ways to bring about a reduction in gas emissions? 

Ironically, David Ismay may have provided us in Vermont with a sense of what is going on within the Vermont Climate Council of which we would otherwise have been unaware. Are certain Council members going outside the State to seek radical ideas that they will eventually look to impose on Vermont’s homeowners and the elderly? 

According to Vermont Daily, Governor Phil Scott is dead-set against ever adopting what was stated by the Massachusetts official and conveyed that to the Vermont Climate Council members. This was also confirmed by his appointed Chair of the Council, Secretary of the Agency of Administration, Susanne R. Young.

The unfortunate issue is that the Governor can be out-voted by the Council’s legislative appointed members. And once again, the Vermont Legislature has delegated its rule/policy-making decisions to an agency outside of the Administration. The Council is the latest and one of the dozens that have been created over the years by the Legislature to carry out operations generally expected to be done by the State’s administration.

Whatever the Council’s final decisions for the Legislature are, its report is due December 1, 2021.  The decisions will be a hardship to Vermonters if the goal is to reduce our State’s gas emissions by 26% by 2025. And if the recommendations are to adopt an onerous fossil fuel carbon tax with a serious curtailment of fossil fuel use for furnaces, trucks, cars, sporting and maintenance equipment, boating, and car racing, the outcry from many Vermonters will be unpleasant.

What is troubling for many who don’t think of climate change daily is just how bad is Vermont’s impact on the world’s climate situation. In Vermont, transportation generates about 46% of our state’s gas emissions and housing about 20%. Agriculture has an impact as well.  But there is no mention whatsoever of tourism.

If my statistics are correct, Vermont has approximately 625,000 residents, and before Covid-19, approximately 13.1 million annual visitors. It will be a huge mistake for officials, who will be imposing restrictions and rules on Vermonters, not to consider the above statistics. 

One further suggestion to the Vermont Climate Council is that members of the 23-member Council don’t have to go outside Vermont and seek environmentalists’ advice with radical ideas. Just because our neighboring state wants “to turn the screws on and break their will,” it won’t work in Vermont. 

And please, Vermont Climate Council, don’t offer David Ismay a job with your Council. 

  1. If a certain set of people Start acting like the Nazis, The US is done for!!!! these people are following…

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    • Good article Don. Anybody ever heard of taxation without representation. If this board is not a perfect example, I don’t know what is. The BELD electric plant is 24% efficient and puts all kinds of particles in the air. My gas furnace is over 90% efficient and emits CO2 and water vapor. My gas bill to heat and for on demand hot water is less than my electric bill. You want to FORCE me to go back to electric heat. I am 81 and on social security and a small pension. Please just leave us alone!

  1. They can try to turn the screws all they want, but if Vermonters just force them to explain the affordability factor in this nonsense, there will be a natural death here because they cannot do it. If all Vermonters who pay taxes would insist on this, this thing would be disappearing fast. It costs nothing to promote and would save us tons of money in the out years. This is one thing that has to be stopped in its tracks. Now is the time.

  2. Absolutely right, Don. But what’s this “alleged” business? Ismay’s remarks were transcribed from the videotape of the Climate Council’s January 25 meeting. So far as I can tell NO mainstream media outlet has given this tidbit to its readers.. And who was it that invited Ismay to address the Council? And why him? Did Gov., Baker offer Ismay to Gov. Scott? At whose request? Sometimes I wish I was a reporter (not a “journalist”). I would soon be the most hated man in Montpelier. Like when I was a Senator! 🙂

    • John, I support your long expressed, and never answered, critique’s of absurd Gov’t “ideas” floated to “see whether the boat floats.”

      Zero emissions, zero carbon, means we stops the Biologic, circle of life.

    • Regardless what the Scott Administration said after the fact, I found it shocking that Susanne Young didn’t take immediate exception to Ismay’s troublesome remarks in the meeting itself and openly clarify the administration position.

    • Well you are still with us John and we are grateful for that! Keep it up – more are jumping on this train! They have to appear busy, but the bigger question is for who? That answer is coming…

  3. The corruption of these people will soon implode, they have taken the peoples authority to govern into a maze of legalistic mumbo jumbo for their own gain. Not realizing the goose at some point will lay no more golden eggs, then who do they scam for profit and control? It is likely those that revere Liberty will not easily become slaves to these fools when their world collapses and they are finally exposed!

  4. The majority of those pushing this ridiculous, unethical agenda are Progressives. They are mostly from out of state.Flatlanders. People who want to kill Vermont which, if this carbon tax is shoved down our throats, will happen. Taxpayers who happen to be native, hard working individuals, will be forced to leave. It will be unaffordable. There will be no kids or retirees. Unfortunately for those pushing this agenda for EV, killing oil and gas for cooking, and heating, farm vehicles will
    Find out that blacktop is made from petroleum products, wind power needs diesel to power them, charging stations for your EV’s needs diesel to power them. We have one of the lowest carbon footprints in the US. We have the most stringent recycling laws in the US. We are way beyond any other states mandates. Leave this state the hell alone. When you leave for greener pastures take McKibben with you. Pretty hard to go to hearings at the statehouse when they are all hiding behind their screens on Zoom shoving all their agendas thru, unbeknownst to their constituents. If they are getting vaccines they can show up in person. The governor said so.

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