The Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee is Collin Peterson who represents Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District. He took the stage here today at the ACE Convention.
During his remarks he mentioned that the House farm bill had less money allocated for renewable fuels research than some wanted, including the USDA. I got to speak with him afterward and asked him about this very subject.
Peterson says that they didn’t want to overdo it and that he feels that there is adequate funding in his bill. One thing he says they want to make sure of is that there aren’t overlapping projects and he has a concern that if they had put more money in the bill for this type of research it would have been taken away by appropriators later. He says they can always address an increase in funding for research later if the need arises and that the public would be very supportive of it since he believes the topic of renewable fuels is one in which agriculture has the most support from the urban population.
I also asked him about the whole food vs. fuel issue. He thinks that has died down and as he put it was “ginned up” by people who had other interests.
You can listen to my interview with Congressman Peterson here: [audio:http://www.zimmcomm.biz/ethanol/ace-07-peterson.mp3]