Continuing our spotlight on the candidates running in the upcoming elections, we move to the candidates running for Minnesota's congressional seats. To kick things off, we begin at Minnesota's 1st Congressional District where the incumbent, Rep. Jim Hagedorn, faces Dan Feehan. Hagedorn did not respond to our queries so we will only feature Feehan's responses. Please note that these questions were sent to the candidates prior to the EPA rejecting 54 of 68 gap year SRE applications it received this year.
Dan Feehan (D)
Q. What is your position concerning the current state of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)? Should the EPA follow the 10th Circuit Federal Court's decision regarding Small Refinery Exemption (SRE) waivers and reject current, future and gap year SRE applications from the oil industry?
A. As I talk with farmers in southern Minnesota, they're frustrated that they’ve not only lost international markets, but local ethanol markets as well. Farmers have once again been let down by the EPA. The agency has sided with massive oil companies and broken promises to farmers across our country. Enough is enough. I believe the EPA must follow the 10th Circuit’s decision and Congress must hold the EPA accountable by conducting rigorous oversight.
Q. Given the large number of spark ignition-powered vehicles on the road and the need to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, what is your position concerning a possible Low Carbon High Octane Fuel Standard to replace more petroleum with greater amounts of renewable ethanol?
A. I believe that any discussion of fuel standards and carbon emissions must include a seat at the table for the biofuels industry. Congress must ensure these voices are heard in the discussion and I look forward to championing the cause in Congress. As a representative, I would lead on investing in renewable and biofuels, ensuring that our ethanol industry remains strong and prosperous.
Q. The Covid-19 pandemic has severely affected Minnesota's ethanol industry. At one point, plants were shutdown while others had to significantly reduce production. While production has begun to approach pre-pandemic levels, Minnesota’s ethanol producers are still facing severe financial distress. Would you support financial aid to Minnesota’s ethanol producers?
A. Yes. Biofuels should’ve been included in the initial COVID-19 packages but they weren’t. This must be corrected. Any future COVID-19 relief bills must include specific provisions for our ethanol industry.
Q. Do you support making higher ethanol blends, such as E15, available across Minnesota and the United States through infrastructure funding?
A. Our ethanol industry was the original in “value added” agriculture and Minnesota has always been a leader in biofuels. We ensure this industry remains strong. In Congress, I would absolutely fight for investments in higher blends of ethanol through infrastructure funding.
Election 2020 Archives:
MN Senate Candidates:
District 49: Melisa Lopez Franzen
MN House Candidates:
District 01A: Connie Lindstrom
District 09B : Ron Kresha, Laura Wright
District 23A : Patricia Fahey Bacon