WPI Spotlight

Spotlight

The Impact of Drought

The very severe ongoing drought in California is receiving a great deal of national attention and for good reason: the state is the country's most populous at almost 39 million, and it has the most valuable agricultural industry in the U.S. because of its huge production of fruits, vegetables, nuts and animal products.

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The CFTC's Beginning

The Commodity Futures Trading Authority (CFTC) was created in 1974 by an act of Congress as an independent agency charged with overseeing and regulating futures exchanges and futures trading. It replaced the Commodity Exchange Authority (CEA), an office within USDA, which had been established in 1933 primarily to reign in the kind of unregulated speculation and market manipulation in grain futures markets prevalent at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT).

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The EPA and Test Fuels

The Energy Future Coalition and others argue that the EPA's so-called Tier 3 emissions standard for cars and gasoline, which is designed to cut sulfur levels by more than 60 percent starting in 2017, contains a provision that prevents gasoline producers from creating new fuel blends containing more ethanol.

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Politics and Agriculture

Food is essential to human well-being. Since it is so crucial, food is also inevitably political. Because essential food is derived from multiple kinds of agricultural production, politics and agriculture are unavoidably and inseparably intertwined.

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The Argentine government has been reportedly contemplating the establishment of a national grain company to compete with multinational exporting firms. The goal of this action would be to increase government currency reserves. Such a company would apparently be able to entice farmers by offering to collect only a 25 or 20 percent export tax instead of the 35 percent assessed by private sector firms. It would evidently not supplant private sector exporters, but rather act as a competitor.

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Rising Demand

The global aquaculture sector clearly offers a great opportunity for expansion in the future. Aquaculture production has grown at an annual rate of 8.3 percent and reached 60 MMT in CY 2010. Output must continue to increase in order to meet the rising global demand for seafood.

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WPI Spotlight