Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 1/30/2015

Jan 30, 2015 Issues: Congressional Issues, Energy

Sunset over East Grand Forks

Dear Friends,

As part of my ongoing work to oversee the implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill in the new Congress, I met with members of the Minnesota Wheat and Corn Growers Associations this week to discuss farm safety-net programs. Tribal Councilmembers of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians also visited my office, and I am proud to offer my support as they continue working on behalf of their tribe. The House voted on a number of measures this week, including anti-trafficking legislation and a bill that would create American jobs by advancing LNG export projects. Finally, we congratulate the City of Moorhead as they celebrate 50 years of youth hockey excellence.



Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians

Darrell Seki (Tribal Chairman) and Annette Johnson (Tribal Treasurer)

On Wednesday, Tribal Councilmembers of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians visited my office to talk about issues impacting tribal members. Red Lake established its independence on July 6th, 1889, and remains one of the few completely sovereign reservations in the United States. The Red Lake Indian Reservation is mostly located in Beltrami and Clearwater counties in northern Minnesota.

Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers

Pete Kappes (ADA), Stephen Lacey (WENDELL), Jay Nord (WOLVERTON)

I was honored to be presented with the 2014 Wheat Advocate Award by Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers President Jay Nord, Director Stephen Lacey, and Board member Pete Kappes. During the meeting we discussed the importance passing the Farm Bill last year and the need for a strong safety net to help farmers weather disasters and downturns in the market like we are seeing today. We also talked about a variety of issues that impact the profitability of farmers, from the outlook of new varieties of wheat to the need to strengthen our infrastructure so we can export wheat to customers around the world as efficiently as possible. Lastly we discussed some of the environmental regulations that farmers face and the concerns I have about the EPA’s wrong-headed Waters of the U.S. proposed rule.

Minnesota Corn Growers Association

Noah Hultgren (Vice President, Minnesota Corn Growers Association)

I met with Noah Hultgren, First Vice President of the Minnesota Corn Growers, while he was in Washington as part of the Leadership At Its Best group. This leadership development program is sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association and Syngenta and gives corn growers tools for becoming leaders in their state and at the national level. Noah and I talked about the implementation of the new farm programs, as well as other issues important to corn producers such as the Renewable Fuels Standard, the Waters of the United States proposal, and tax issues.

Clay County Intergovernmental Retreat

DelRae Williams (Mayor, MOORHEAD)

Last Friday I attended the Clay County Joint Powers 46th Annual Intergovernmental Retreat at the Heritage Hjemkomst Interpretive Center in Moorhead. Leaders from school districts, communities, and the county came together to talk about workforce retention. I was pleased to sit on a Legislative Panel Forum in the afternoon with Senator Kent Eken, Representative Paul Marquart, and Representative Ben Lien. 

National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota

On Tuesday my staff aide Natalie Winters met with the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota as part of their annual fly-in to Washington, D.C. to advocate for blind people of all ages and activities. Minnesota was one of the original states that founded the National Organization of the Blind in 1940. Today their membership includes over 50,000 people across the United States. This organization works to confront misconceptions about blindness, and we had a productive visit about how Congress can be helpful to their cause in the months ahead.

Legislative Update

Waters of the U.S. Regulatory Overreach Prevention

I joined more than 100 of my colleagues this week in introducing the bipartisan Waters of the U.S. Regulatory Overreach Protection Act. I was an original co-sponsor of this bill when it passed the House last Congress. Regulatory overreach legislation will allow farmers and ranchers to continue their work without excessive regulation from the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Exports

This week I voted in support of H.R. 351, LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act. If signed into law, the bill would speed up the approval process for LNG export projects. As the world’s leading country in natural gas production, LNG exports would help create more American jobs and improve our relations with our allies.  

Anti-Trafficking Legislation

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on a number of measures to address human trafficking at home and abroad. I supported all of these bills which passed with strong bipartisan support because we need to devote greater focus to the deterrence and treatment of trafficking victims, especially when those impacted are among our most vulnerable. This week I also signed on again as an original cosponsor of the End Domestic Child Sex Trafficking Act, which endorses our commitment to protecting children from exploitation and supporting victims with necessary services and care.


Moorhead Spuds Hockey

This hockey season, the 50th in Moorhead Spuds history, is dedicated to the community’s distinguished record and contributions to the sport. Anniversary celebrations included a full schedule of Moorhead youth and high school hockey games, as well as commemorative events for the players, coaches, parents, and volunteers who have shaped Spud hockey since 1965. Moorhead has a rich history of hockey, and serves as a model of excellence nationally. We wish continued success to Moorhead hockey, and the more than 500 youth who participate in it today.  

County Courthouse Tour

Pipestone County Courthouse 1909 / Present

Prior to the construction of the formal courthouse, Pipestone County’s judicial business was conducted in several locations across Pipestone. In early 1901, County Commissioners approved a plan to build a courthouse using taxpayer funds. After completing the majority of construction, Pipestone officials were informed that taxpayer funds could not be legally allocated toward the courthouse, forcing them to halt work and seek approval for $20,000 in bonds. The structure was finally finished in late 1901, and features a Sioux quartzite exterior with a Renaissance dome, atop which sits a bronze Lady Justice. Inside, the structure is finished with oak woodwork and includes a foyer mantle commissioned by the Women’s World’s Fair Auxiliary Committee to be part of the Minnesota exhibition at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. The Pipestone County Courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

This Week in American History

Private Henke (HUTCHINSON), Belfast 1942

The first Americans deployed to the European theater of World War II arrived in Belfast, Ireland on January 26, 1942. Private First Class Milburn Henke, of Hutchinson, is recognized as the first soldier officially ashore. Private Henke and his Expeditionary Force were welcomed by the Duke of Abercorn, the Governor and Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, and the Secretary of State for Air. News quickly spread that the first American combatant had a German surname, much to the amusement of the European soldiers (particularly the British). Henke’s unit, the 34th Infantry Division, was the longest-serving in the European theater, with combat missions throughout Tunisia and Italy.
Constituents tell us that, for once, DC is colder than the 7th!