Press Release | 114th Congress
Opening Statement by Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin C. Peterson
Energy and the Rural Economy: The Impacts of Oil and Gas Production
--As Prepared for Delivery--
“Thank you Mr. Chairman.
“Oil and gas production can have a positive impact on the rural economy. My state of Minnesota for example has felt the impact of North Dakota’s oil boom, including increased job opportunities in my district.
“At the same time, the market has recently exposed some of the challenges that come along with oil and gas production. Improving infrastructure like rail, pipelines or roads to transport oil during boom times or strengthening safety net programs that can keep our rural communities afloat during low price swings, are all areas for us to further explore.
“Oil and gas development has certainly helped some farmers and rural communities weather the recent downfall in commodity prices. This demonstrates the importance of a diverse rural economy and the role these types of value-added systems play in keeping it afloat.
“Agriculture is no stranger to fluctuating commodity prices and we’ve all witnessed the impact of extreme highs and lows. When commodity prices drop, rural communities, landowners, farmers and business all feel the impact. This is why it is important that we maintain a strong safety net and support a wide range of opportunities for rural citizens.
“I look forward to hearing our witnesses’ thoughts on this topic and yield back.”