Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 2/7/2014

Clearing Snow on a County Road

Dear Friends,

After years of hard work and perseverance, the Farm Bill has shown that compromise is still possible in Washington. On Tuesday the Senate passed the Agricultural Act of 2014 and it has just been signed by the President this afternoon. The propane shortage continues to have a devastating impact on homeowners and businesses across the Midwest, and that is why I am urging the Energy and Commerce Committee to hold hearings and address what can be done to fix this problem. This week, the MN National Guard, Rural Electric Association, and constituents from the 7th District came to visit. Minnesota lost former Second Lady Joan Mondale, who passed on Monday.



Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Joan Mondale

I was serving in the Minnesota State Senate at the time that Joan Mondale was serving our country during the vice presidency of her husband. They were both tremendous examples to those of us in the Democratic Party, and made our state very proud on so many fronts. It was an honor to know Joan Mondale and to see her showcase the importance of the arts, in all forms, and I continue to believe that her work at home and abroad has made a lasting impact on all of us who support the arts.

Propane Shortage News
I am very concerned over the difficulties that the spike in propane fuel costs have caused for homeowners and businesses across the 7th District. I joined the MN Delegation and other Midwest Representatives in calling on the Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce to hold public hearings as soon as possible to fully investigate the role and resources available to moderate supply and relieve skyrocketing propane prices.

Click here for more information from the State Emergency Operations Center.

Farm Bill Update

On Tuesday the Senate showed that it is possible to work together and actually get something done in Washington. Just as the House did last week, the Senate approved the 2014 Farm Bill with strong, bipartisan support. This bill provides farmers and ranchers with a strong safety net and the certainty they need for the next five years. I commend Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Cochran for their unwavering support.

MN National Guard

Adjutant Maj. General Richard Nash, Col. Sandy Best, 34th Combat Aviation Brigade Commander Col. Greg Thingvold

I had an opportunity to sit down and have a great conversation with Minnesota National Guard Adjutant Maj. General Richard Nash to discuss the proposed Army Force Structure. We also discussed the Minnesota National Guard’s legislative priorities in 2014.

MN Rural Electric Association

Jeff Redalen, Gary Peterson, Ron Schwartau, Jerry Twedt, Janet Lekson, Phil Nestande, Joci Nestande, Ken Hiebel, Ebon and Steve Arneson

Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA) stopped by to discuss the Department of Energy’s standards for large capacity water heaters and disaster assistance following the ice storms we had in Southern Minnesota last year.  They also expressed appreciation for provisions in the recently-passed Farm Bill that make it easier for co-op consumers to invest in energy efficiency improvements.

Broadband to Rural Areas

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that they are calling for letters of interest in providing high capacity broadband to rural areas. They are encouraging participation in these experiments from as many different entities as possible including incumbents, municipals, and utilities. The deadline for non-binding expressions of interest is March 7th. The FCC will utilize these letters to set their final funding amounts and priorities for later in 2014. 

For more information and to review the order please click here.

Bemidji Resident Returns to Olympics

Pete Fenson is returning to the Olympics in Sochi, Russia as a curling analyst for NBC. In 2006, Fenson was part of the curling team that won a bronze medal for the United States. This was the only Olympic medal the U.S. had won in curling. Fenson was recently beaten by John Shuster in November’s Olympic trials. He would much prefer to be a member of the U.S. Olympic team this year in Russia, but having covered the men’s and women’s World Curling Championships for the past six years, he is excited to broadcast for NBC in this year’s winter Olympics.

Constituents from the 7th

Ebon and Steve Arnesen (ROOSEVELT)

This Week in American History

On February 6th, 1862, Redwood County in southwest Minnesota was established. The county is named after a translation of Chanshaypai, a Dakota name for a river that runs through the county. Today Redwood County has a population of 16,059 people, 874 square miles, and its northern border consists of the Minnesota River.

Kaitlin Schmidt (BELVIEW)
2013 Congressional Art Competition