May 15, 2014
This oyster farm case just keeps getting better.
In last week's column I detailed how a small group of wealthy homeowners are attempting to block a new Popponesset Bay oyster farm proposed by Richard Cook of Mashpee. Beaten at every step, they finally resorted a desperate legislative trick, their lobbyists convincing Newburyport state rep Michael Costello to insert a secretive amendment rider into the Massachusetts budget to block the farm. This was after every regulatory agency in Mashpee green lit the project, and after it was upheld in Superior Court.
Couldn't get any crazier, right?
Representative Costello sponsored the surprise budget amendment to block Cook's farm, declaring the exact area a "marine sanctuary," after what must have been a very persuasive conversation with lobbyists from ML Strategies.
But just last October, here is what Costello said about the 2013 re-opening of a shellfish area, this one actually in his home district, "It is great to see that clammers have returned to the Joppa Flats," said Costello. "This is just one of the many reasons I have fought [for commercial shellfish interests]. It is a vital part of the Massachusetts economy."