Vitter Applauds Court Decision Blocking Interior’s Attempt to Close an Oyster Farm

U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today made the following statement regarding the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals who will consider an appeal by Drakes Bay Oyster Company in Point Reyes, Calif., an oyster farm who was recently denied an extension of their 40-year operating permit by the U.S. Department of Interior (Interior).

“Interior attempted to flat out kill this oyster farm and its jobs by using misleading science and ignoring economic impacts,” Vitter said. “I applaud the Ninth Circuit for taking this first step to recognizing that the Interior agency bureaucrats, including Ken Salazar, almost put people out of work for no good reason.”

The Ninth Circuit granted the motion for emergency injunction pending appeal for Drakes Bay Oyster Company, which allows the company to remain open while the court considers the appeal in Drakes Bay Oyster Company v. Salazar, et al. Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers denied an injunction, which was appealed.

The Drakes Bay Oyster Co. is on federal lands and part of a controversial scientific review by the National Park Service and the administration. In April, Dr. Corey Goodman, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, filed a Scientific Misconduct Complaint with the Department of Interior. More recently, the Interior Department office of Inspector General may have neglected their required independence and did not properly investigate the claims against National Park Service employees.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has also been a vocal advocate for renewing the permit for Drakes Bay Oyster Company. You can read her statements, as well as the letters she wrote to Interior here.