Attorney General Chris Koster (D?) has definitely decided to pursue an appeal that would negate last year’s court decision keeping CAFOs at least two miles from historic sites. At issue is whether or not buffer zones around state parks and historic sites will be created by the legal precedent of Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce’s ruling in Arrow Rock.
The appeal to negate Joyce’s ruling was filed last fall by Governor Matt Blunt’s DNR–at the behest of big pork–but the current DNR has dropped its interest in the case, as has our new governor. The fact that both have stated that the attorney general is “on his own” in pursuing the appeal leaves Koster without a client in his lawsuit–except for the unacknowledged one: big ag.
He is persisting, he says, because such buffer zones should not be created by court cases but by the (Republican) legislature. As if that’s going to happen. He claims to approve of buffer zones between factory farms and our state’s historic sites, waterways, and state parks and yet goes out of his way to eliminate the only practical chance such sites have of protection from CAFOs. Given his history of carrying water for the Farm Bureau, though, his overnice distinction about how they’ll be created is disingenuous. Just note that seven big ag organizations have filed briefs as intervenors or “friends of the court” in this case.
Let’s hope that his case gets thrown out of court for not having a client.