Readers’ Views

‘A small favor to ask’

To the Editor:

In response to the recent Sentinel editorial: “Will foreign leaders want to talk anymore?” To say that the editors are disingenuous is to be kind.

Would the writers please share with their readers what the conversation was about? Explain what is the purpose of the legal protection of a “whistleblower?” What does “cover-up” mean?

Why is it somewhat important that the leader of this country NOT ask leaders of other foreign countries to try to undermine politicians that might threaten their own prospects of winning a second term in the 2020 election?

Why is the U.S. Attorney General Barr mentioned in the phone conversation?

Why would leader of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, extremely reluctant to pursue impeachment for months, within hours of the news of the conversation, lead the House down the difficult and hard road of impeaching the President because of the nature of the call?


Peter Engstrom


Supporting Feehan

To the Editor:

It’s rare that an election offers so stark a choice as what we have in the race for Congress here in southern Minnesota, and that’s why I’m proud to support Dan Feehan. We face unprecedented problems, and we need a strong, independent voice in Washington to fight for us, and Dan is that person.

At a time when dark money plays such a huge role in politics, Dan is committed to not take a dime of corporate PAC money so he won’t be beholden to special interests, and will always be able to do what is best for the people of southern Minnesota.

Dan’s career has been defined by service, from teaching in underserved communities; to fighting for our service members and veterans, both in the Army and at the Pentagon; to working with organizations like the Farmers Union to improve our communities. He knows the problems that we face, and he knows that the only way we’ll get through them is if we all come together to get things done.

He knows that agriculture is central to our way of life, and he will fight tirelessly for our family farmers, both to make sure that today’s farmers can thrive and also to develop the next generation. He will back the investments in infrastructure that we need to be competitive in the 21st century; he will fight for trade deals that benefit farmers here; and he will make sure that we promote farming practices that keep our soil healthy and our water clean.

We can’t afford more of the same destructive policies that we’ve had the past few years, and Dan is just who we need to turn things around. That’s why I couldn’t be prouder to support him, and I hope you all will too.

Rory Rohloff

Blue Earth

Time to fix the issues

To the Editor:

Last week, Minnesota Gov, Tim Walz visited my farm, where he announced the formation of a biofuels council tasked with promoting the use of renewable fuels in our state. Lowering emissions and improving air quality with biofuels is a win for all Minnesotans. For the state’s corn farmers, it offers some hope for a vital market that has been decimated by actions in Washington.

The latest blow to the ethanol industry came last month, when the Environmental Protection Agency granted an additional 31 small refinery waivers. Since the announcement, corn prices declined 15 percent in an already depressed farm economy.

An unprecedented 85 small refinery waivers granted since 2017 have reduced domestic ethanol demand by more than 4 billion gallons. Unsurprisingly, this destruction has taken a toll on Greater Minnesota’s once vibrant ethanol industry as more plants idle and shutdown.

In 2019 alone, we lost an ethanol plant and a biofuel marketer, all of which represent 46 million bushels of corn processing capacity. For corn farmers like myself who depend on the ethanol market for my crop, that number is devastating.

With that, I am a proud to be part of a state with leadership that recognizes the important role biofuels can play as we work toward our environmental goals while benefitting the rural economy. Now, we need our leadership in Washington to show that same support.

It is imperative the EPA stops issuing waivers that are only benefitting big oil while undermining the Renewable Fuel Standard and hurting the nation’s farmers. The more than 4 billion gallons of biofuels removed from the nation’s fuel supply must be reallocated if we hope to reverse the financial hardship in our outstate communities.

Ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement will also provide a much needed boost to rural Minnesota. All of Minnesota’s 19 ethanol plants depend on the export market for its product, and Canada is the second-largest export market for American ethanol. Ratification before the end of the year would also provide some much-needed certainty to corn farmers facing a number of economic headwinds on the trade front.

While we will never be able to undo all the damage caused by the EPA’s waivers, President Trump and federal officials can take action today to begin the recovery. I am thankful for Gov. Walz building a brighter future for biofuels at home. Now it is time for those in Washington to fix the issue they created.

Brian Thalmann, president

Minnesota Corn Growers Assn.


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