The House Energy and Commerce Committee issued the latest in a series of white papers examining the impacts of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The latest white paper, issued April 19, outlines and seeks comment on the impact of the RFS on the agricultural sector.Following the release of the white paper on agricultural sector impacts, ASA provided extensive comments highlighting the importance of the RFS to the soybean and biodiesel industries and reinforcing the fact that the RFS does not drive higher commodity or food prices.”Soybean farmers have played a major role in the development of the U.S. biodiesel industry and biodiesel has provided a significant market opportunity for U.S. soybean producers,” wrote ASA in its comments. “However, first and foremost, policymakers must understand that markets and prices for soybeans are driven by demand for soy meal as a protein feed source for livestock. The portion of the soybean used in biodiesel production is the oil, not the meal.””Additionally, in considering the use of soybean oil for biodiesel production, it must be understood that demand for U.S. soybean oil for food use began to decline significantly following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) action in 2003 to require food manufacturers to include trans fats on nutrition labels beginning in 2006,” added ASA. “The increase in the use of soybean oil for the biodiesel market has essentially taken up the reduced demand for soybean oil in the food sector associated with trans fat labeling as the food industry shifted away from the use of partially hydrogentated soybean oil to various oil blends and the increased use of palm oil.For a full transcript of ASA’s comments, please click here, and for a copy of the committee’s whitepaper, please click here. ASA encourages all members to utilize the comments and urge their Members of Congress to support the RFS and support biodiesel.
Ohio State then-junior guard Kelsey Mitchell (3) facilitates the offense against Purdue during the Boilermakers’ 71-60 win against the Buckeyes at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on March 4. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Station ManagerLed by five seniors, including two-time Big Ten Player of the Year guard Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State enters the season ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. The rankings were released Thursday morning.The Buckeyes are the highest ranked Big Ten team. Maryland, which lost its three top scorers to graduation or transfer, came in at No. 15, while Michigan snuck in at No. 24. Ohio State plays a difficult nonconference schedule featuring season-opening matchups against No. 10 Stanford and No. 9 Louisville — both at home — and a road game against No. 12 Duke.Earlier in the week, the Buckeyes were ranked No. 8 in the coaches poll. Also picked by Big Ten media and coaches to win the conference championship, Ohio State features a fast-paced offense with a small, yet talented rotation of contributors.Mitchell was honored as preseason Big Ten Player of the Year and named to the preseason first-team All-Big Ten team along with redshirt senior forward Stephanie Mavunga. Mitchell, who has been named a first- or second-team All-American in all three seasons of her career, led the conference with 22.6 points per game last year. Mavunga became the third Buckeye in program history to average a double-double, as she dropped 11.4 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.The Buckeyes open the season at 6 p.m. Nov. 10 against Stanford at St. John Arena.Here are the full rankings.AP Poll Connecticut (32 first-place votes) Texas Baylor South Carolina Ohio State Notre Dame Mississippi State UCLA Louisville Stanford Oregon Duke West Virginia Tennessee Maryland Missouri Marquette Florida State Oregon State California (tie) Texas A&M (tie) Oklahoma South Florida Michigan DePaul
Fez- After His Royal Majesty’s official visit to Tunisia this past weekend, King Mohammed VI is due to visit Russia next week.According to the Moroccan daily Al Massae, Mohammed VI’s visit is scheduled to take place on June 10 at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.The newspaper said that the Moroccan officials and Russian diplomats in Rabat had recently held a meeting which focused on preparation of the forthcoming Moroccan-Russian summit meeting, adding that Moscow attaches particular importance to the visit of King Mohammed VI, in the light of the dynamic role played by Morocco to consolidate stability in North Africa. According to the same source, the Russian Ambassador to Rabat also announced the program for the King’s visit. “Putin and King Mohammed VI will address a range of issues of common interest including the Western Sahara and the latest developments in North Africa and the Sahel region,” the Russian Ambassador was quoted as saying.The situation in the Middle East and Ukraine will also be discussed during the bilateral discussion, the newspaper reported.The Moroccan authorities are increasingly aware that they can no longer rely solely on France or the United States to propel the United Nations towards adopting a realistic approach for a mutually acceptable solution to the Western Sahara dispute on the basis of the Moroccan autonomy plan presented to the Security Council in April 2007. So they may be looking for support from Russia, as a veto-yielding member of the Security Council, which, unlike the United States and the United Kingdom, has never called for establishing a human rights monitoring mechanism in the Sahara.