Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 6/7

Jun 7, 2013 Issues: Energy, Transportation

Thanking our Vets on Memorial Day

Albany, MN

Dear Friends,

I've heard from a number of folks in the 7th who are rightfully concerned about the recent spikes in gas prices across our state.  That's why I introduced legislation along with some of my colleagues in the Minnesota delegation that will help coordinate refinery outages so we can prevent this from happening again.  This week I met with the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation to discuss conservation and the 2013 Farm Bill, and I spoke with the Minnesota Transportation Alliance about the importance of investing in our local infrastructure.  Today I attended the Farm Credit meeting hosted by United FCS in Willmar.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson

Minnesota 7th District

New Legislation to Help Prevent Spikes in Gas Prices

On Wednesday, I joined members of the Minnesota delegation and introduced legislation to help prevent future spikes in gas prices like Minnesota saw earlier in May. The legislation would require refineries to report their maintenance schedules to the Department of Energy, helping to prevent coinciding closures and avert future gas shortages and price spikes. The legislation mirrors a bill introduced by Senators Klobuchar and Franken in the Senate.

I think improving coordination of refinery outages is a logical step in preventing painful spikes in gas prices. Hopefully we can get a little more control of gas prices by taking these measures to better schedule and coordinate these outages.

The legislation would require refineries to report to the Department of Energy their schedule for maintenance that would bring any refineries off line. The bill would also require refineries to immediately tell the Department when they are experiencing unplanned outages. Finally, the bill asks the Secretary of Energy to look at the potential for additional fuel storage in the region to address the low storage capacity that makes the region especially vulnerable to shortages.

Click here to read the bill

National Grange

On Monday, I visited the National Press Club to speak to participants of the National Grange Legislative Fly-In. National Grange is the nation’s oldest agricultural organization, founded in 1867. In my remarks, I gave an overview of the farm bill passed by the House Agriculture Committee and a preview of some of what I expect to see on the House floor, including attempts to do away with the bill’s dairy reforms and sugar program. At this point, it looks like the full House will begin debating the bill the week of June 17. It’s going to be difficult but I think Chairman Lucas and I will be able to work together and, after more than three years of work, get a farm bill passed in the House. Additionally, the Senate is on track to pass their version of the bill on Monday, June 10.

MN Transportation Alliance

On Wednesday I spoke with members of the Minnesota Transportation Alliance.  An investment in transportation means an investment in our communities.  Projects like the recently completed Paynesville Bypass make a huge impact on local economic development, and I was glad to play a role in this project that utilized public-private and local, state and federal partnerships.

Farm Credit

Dale Holmgren (Wisconsin-AgStar), Stan Claussen (MONTEVIDEO), Bill Kiehne (AgStar), Ed Hegland (APPLETON), Bill Oemichen (Cooperative Network), Greg Jans (GROVE CITY), Mark Ellison (ELBOW LAKE), Mark Knisely, (Farm Credit President and CEO)

Sportsmen's Foundation

Pictured above with Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas

On Wednesday I attended a breakfast for the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation.  We discussed the 2013 Farm Bill, with the conservation title being of great importance to landowners, hunters, and anglers across the nation and here in the 7th.  We have put together a good conservation title, but we need the votes at the end of the day to pass the Farm Bill. We need people to step up and put their partisan ideologies aside to pass this bill.  I am hopeful that this time around we work together and get the job done.  I also received the Top Gun Award for Democrats following my participation at the Congressional Shoot-Out this year.

This Week in American History

Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France on D-Day, June 6th, 1944 after United States General Dwight D. Eisenhower gave the go-ahead order to begin Operation Overlord. The assault was the largest amphibious military operation in U.S. history with over 6,000 naval ships, 13,000 aircraft, 13,000 parachutists, and 176,000 troops utilized in the attack. By the day’s end, Allied forces had successfully broken through the German ranks, secured a foothold on the European continent, and prevented Hitler from securing control over the western front.

Today, there are 241 Minnesotans buried at the Normandy American Cemetery in France. In a small town of Periers, France near Normandy Beach, a monument was constructed to honor four American soldiers who helped liberate the town, but were killed during the invasion. Two of the four soldiers depicted in the monument are Virgil Tangborn of Bemidji and Richard Richtman of Minneapolis. You can hear one Minnesota veteran tell his D-Day story in his own words by clicking here.

Constituents from the 7th

Hatch Family (TRACY), Nelson Family (ADA), Rivard Family (MOORHEAD)

On tour in the Capitol Visitor Center

Nicole and Julie Rath (Minneapolis and RENVILLE), Ryan, Steve, and Donald Baron (KARLSTAD, Sartell, Eden Prairie), Devree and Cynthia Hendrickson (FRAZEE)

On tour just outside the Capitol Rotunda on the Senate side

Sofia Herrera (Battle Lake)
Entry for 2013 Congressional Art Competition