What The Candidates Say : Rep. Collin Peterson

  • Monday, 20 October 2014 00:00

Rep. Collin Peterson, who is running for re-election for Minnesota's 7th Congressional District, is the focus of our latest post on what the candidates say about biofuels. 

Q. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a federal law which has implications for Minnesota. Do you support or oppose the RFS? What is the basis for your support or opposition to the RFS?

A. My support for our homegrown biofuels industry has never wavered. I worked to create the RFS, I fought to expand the RFS, and I will continue to oppose attempts to weaken, repeal or obstruct the implementation of the RFS law. As a champion of the biofuels industry, I have led efforts in Congress to support the growth of this industry from a handful of backyard operations to a world-class source of domestically-produced fuel. I support ethanol because it supports the Minnesota farm economy, it provides good paying jobs in rural communities, and it strengthens our country's national security. With all the problems in oil producing parts of the world from Russia to the Middle East, we need to do everything we can to promote homegrown sources of energy like ethanol.

Q. What advantages, or disadvantages, do you think biofuels present for Minnesotans? If you have identified advantages, how would you leverage them to achieve more benefits for the environment and consumers over the next two to four years? If you identified disadvantages associated with biofuels, what if any, acttions would you take to address those disadvantages?

A. The ethanol industry has already transformed rural America - and promises to do much more in the future. In addition to the economic and national security benefits of biofuels, ethanol provides competition at the pump, which saves consumers money. While competition is good for consumers, ethanol continues to be at a disadvantage from entering a market that has run on gasoline for so long. I will continue to support programs - with the RFS being the most important - that will further the investments needed for the increased production, storage and distribution of ethanol.

Q. What actions would you take, for the medium term, to make E15 the new regular fuel?

A. We need to maintain the RFS and we need to figure out how to help the industry get their product to the marketplace with more E85, E20 and blender pumps so that consumers have more choices. I will do what I can to make this happen.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your position on biofuels in Minnesota?

A. There are a lot of people who don't remember why we have worked so hard to build this industry, or even why it's so important that our country to be become more energy independent. Because we have made progress so quickly in the ethanol industry over the last decade, there some that think we no longer need the RFS or should continue forward-looking programs that expand consumer access to ethanol. I would tell the critics that ethanol is already achieving more than we could have ever hoped. It puts steel in the ground, money in farmers' pockets, and keeps the lights on in small town America. I have worked on a bipartisan basis to pass the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, the 2008 Farm Bill, the 2014 Farm bill standing, which are cornerstones of pro-biofuel policy. I will continue to stand and fight to support the RFS and our homegrown ethanol industry to overcome tomorrow's challenges every step of the way.

Come back to Blogging for Biofuels tomorrow to read Sharon Sund's views on biofuels. Sund is running against Rep. Erik Paulsen in Minnesota's 3rd Congressional district.