Saturday, December 02, 2006

Moth Balls: Update

Back in July 2006 the ISW reported about a program at UMass Amherst to develop a biological control for the European winter moth (Operophtera brumata). Short story is that the funding for the program was cut by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who indicated that UMass Amherst should pay for it themselves.

Since then, the State Legislature overrode Romney's veto and reinstated the funding, which was promptly cut again in November under the Governor's emergency spending powers. Now the researcher in charge of the project, Joseph Elkinton, is speaking out in this Boston Globe article, noting that he's lost funding he was already starting to spend. The Romney administration noted that since it gave UMass Amherst $30 million "extra" this year, the university should use that money to fund the project. Does this mean they are refusing to acknowledge that the European winter moth is a statewide problem? Will UMass pony up the money for Elkinton to finish his work, or will the incoming Patrick administration reinstate the separate funding? Only time will tell.

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