Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 12/15/2017

December 18, 2017

Wild Turkeys Outside
Thief River Falls

Dear Friends,

This week I wrote and sent a bipartisan letter, along with Senator Klobuchar and Representatives Walz, Ellison, Nolan, and Emmer to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency after they finalized a proposal to reduce service hours at the Lancaster and Roseau Ports of Entry. Tourism and trade from our neighbors to the north continues to play an important part in keeping Minnesota’s rural economy strong. Next week, I return to Washington as the House is expected to consider tax legislation and an additional government funding measure.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

American Petroleum Institute

Jack Gerard, President and CEO of API

I sat down with the President and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute Jack Gerard to talk about areas of common concerns regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard. I think there is room for agreement about the uncertainty surrounding the renewable fuel program, especially looking towards the future of the program. I always welcome serious discussions about these issues as it becomes more important than ever to have a diverse and competitive fuel supply. 

Minnesota Farm Bureau

I met with Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap, his wife Julie, and Amber Glaeser on Monday to talk about the next farm bill. Kevin was in Washington for a meeting of the Farm Bureau state presidents. We talked about several programs, including the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), as well as the anticipated timeline for the farm bill moving ahead. I look forward to continuing the conversation with Minnesota Farm Bureau and other stakeholders as we progress on this bill.

Point of View with Chris Berg

Earlier this week I was a guest on Point of View with Chris Berg. We talked about Senator Franken’s resignation, the appointment of Lt. Governor Tina Smith to the Senate, and the current GOP tax plan. I think my Republican colleagues are making a mistake by working on tax reform on a partisan basis. Democrats made the same mistake on health care. As I’ve stated before, there are proposals I support, like reducing the corporate tax rate to 20 percent to make the U.S. more competitive internationally. I won’t support them at the expense of middle-class tax increases and the removal of tax deductions for those with Alzheimer’s in the hospital. I look forward to carefully reviewing the changes made in the conference report and will keep my constituents in mind.

Watch my interview here.

Military Service Academy Interviews

This week, my office conducted interviews with a group of seven outstanding students looking to attend our nation’s Service Academies. Each year, I’m proud to submit candidates for consideration to the United States Military, Naval, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine Academies. I’d like to thank our Academy Interview Panel for their dedication to the next generation of Service Academy students. The panel consisted of Steve Cotariu, Richard Smestad, Jennifer Smestad, Mike Arntson and Alex Cabrera. Their experience consists of a combination of three West Point graduates, a Naval graduate, and a full time Army servicemember.

Woodland Elementary Blue Ribbon Designation

I would like to congratulate Woodland Elementary School in Alexandria for their achievement as a Blue Ribbon School by the Department of Education in the Exemplary High Performing category. The designation is based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Woodland was one of eight schools recognized in Minnesota and one of only 342 across the United States. This is a significant accomplishment to be nationally recognized for their hard work on behalf of students and is a testament to how much teachers and administrators value the students and their success. Friday my staff aide Jacki Anderson attended their Blue Ribbon Ceremony to celebrate their accomplishment. Keep up the great work Woodland Elementary!

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

On Tuesday, a large crowd greeted the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train at its stop in Plummer. The CP Holiday Train program started in 1999 and has raised more than $13 million dollars and four million pounds of food for communities along the CP’s routes in Canada and the United States. This year, Plummer presented a $4500 check to the Red Lake County Food Shelf.

Annual Prairie Grains Conference

This week, my staff attended the 2017 Prairie Grains Conference. This conference brings farmers, commodity groups, vendors, and University researchers together to support our agricultural communities. I’m always glad to see our communities working together to create new solutions to our shared challenges.

Legislative Update

Pilot Program Proposal at Lancaster and Roseau Ports

I wrote and sent a bipartisan letter, along with Senator Klobuchar and Representatives McCollum, Walz, Ellison, Nolan, and Emmer to U.S. Customs and Border Protection after the agency finalized its proposal to reduce service hours at Lancaster and Roseau Ports of Entry and advocated for a pilot program. I think that these POEs could utilize existing virtual interview process technology that is currently being used at the Northwest Angle. When these ports are non-manned, this technology would allow non-commercial vehicles to access the ports and still go through necessary background checks through a visual process that’s connected to CBP Officers at the twenty-four hour Pembina or Warroad POEs. I recently spoke with Dan Gunderson on Minnesota Public Radio about these challenges to our communities. I will continue to encourage CBP to begin a pilot program using this technology at Lancaster and Roseau POEs.


National Park Service Announces Fee-Free Days for 2018

The National Park Service announced today that the public will be invited to experience all national parks, without entrance fees, on four days in 2018.

The entrance fee-free days for 2018 will be:

  • January 15 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • April 21 – First Day of National Park Week
  • September 22 – National Public Lands Day
  • November 11 – Veterans Day

You can learn more about our national parks online here.

This Week in American History

On December 11, 1970 University of Minnesota alumnus Norman Borlaug received the Nobel Peace Prize for his research hybridizing wheat. Known as the father of the green revolution, Borlaug’s work contributed to large increases in crop yield and agricultural production, helping feed people all around the world.

Spotted in the Seventh


Can YOU guess what was Spotted in the Seventh? Each week, the newsletter will feature a landmark or site somewhere in Western Minnesota. The first person to name the location wins! The location of the photo as well as the winner will be revealed in the next newsletter.

This week’s location may be located in the Seventh, but is made up of every Minnesota County, all 50 U.S. states, and most of Canada’s provinces…

Congratulations to Jack Olson of Detroit Lakes, who was the first to correctly identify last week’s location as the Moorhead City Hall!

Share your guess on our website –

‘Celebrate the Light’ Event
in Willmar