28 June 2010

Subsidy cuts alter competition, Oil follows tobacco? Don't breathe in London and other green business info

Top Stories

India Cuts Subsidies for Fuels.reliability high.
"The Indian government on Friday reduced popular fuel subsidies, a long-delayed change that will help policy makers reduce a big budget deficit but one that will also worsen already high inflation. Policy makers said the government would stop subsidizing gasoline. Diesel, kerosene and natural gas would continue to receive support at a slightly lower level. India spent about $5.6 bn to subsidize fuel in the last fiscal year, which ended in March. State-owned energy companies added the equivalent of an additional $4.4 bn by selling fuel below its cost. ... Even after the increase, analysts at Citigroup  estimate that the government and state-owned oil companies will spend about $11.5 bn on fuel subsidies this fiscal year, down from a previous estimate of $16.7 bn." Story in The New York Times. [Many consequences. For example see Tata item below.]

Curators, crude oil and an outdated cultural mix.reliability medium.
Letter criticizes the Tate gallery for "celebrating 20 years of BP sponsorship ... We represent a cross-section of people from the arts community that believe that the BP logo represents a stain on Tate's international reputation. Many artists are angry that Tate and other national cultural institutions continue to sidestep the issue of oil sponsorship. Little more than a decade ago, tobacco companies were seen as respectable partners for public institutions to gain support from – that is no longer the case. It is our hope that oil and gas will soon be seen in the same light." Letter to the editor of The Guardian. [No matter how much culture they sponsor oil firms will have a hard time being seen as good corporate citizens in years to come.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

The View from the C-Suite: P&G's Len Sauers.reliability high.
Interview. "The VP of Sustainability at the world's largest household and personal products company talks about Procter & Gamble's 9,000-member innovation team, how it impacts chemical giants like Dow and Dupont, and what it takes to get people to do their washing in cold water." See Greener World Media.

Tata May Lure Hyundai, Suzuki Buyers as India Frees Fuel Prices.reliability high.
"Tata Motors Ltd., challenging Hyundai Motor Co. as India’s No. 2 automaker, may gain an edge over the South Korean carmaker from India’s decision to end state controls on gasoline prices. Tata may lure drivers from Hyundai and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., the nation’s biggest carmaker, as it has a wider range of diesel models, said Mahantesh Sabarad, a Mumbai-based analyst at Fortune Equity Brokers India Ltd. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week freed gasoline prices to pare spending, while keeping diesel subsidies for the time being." From Bloomberg Businessweek.

Google eyes more home energy jobs for PowerMeter.reliability high.
"'We're starting with electricity and we're interested in moving on to natural gas and other utilities [such as water] in the home,' Reicher said, speaking to utility industry executives. ... Reicher said that the application could be extended to let consumers take advantage of off-peak rates when using electricity-hungry devices such as appliances." See CNET News.

London, the dirty man of Europe.reliability medium.
"With the first of many London sites this week breaching – before the end of June – the annual allowance for "bad air days", it is blindingly obvious now why the European Commission sent the UK a second and final written warning for breaching these same legal standards, as has occurred every year since 2005 in London, less than a month ago. These "bad air days" matter because they warn us there are high concentrations of dangerous airborne particles (PM10s) in the air which can penetrate deep into the lungs and bloodstream to trigger respiratory problems, heart attacks and strokes" Writer criticizes UK politicians for stalling on efforts to reduce these pollutants. "Mayor Johnson will say he was right to suspend LEZ3 last February to save £30m of one-off costs for operators (when it is obvious that this is financial fairyland when compared to his estimate of £300m every year for potential EU fines for each of two pollutants)." Opinion piece in The Guardian.

Government and Regulation

G20 urges phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies.reliability high.
"The G20 communique in Toronto calls for the 'phase out over the medium term of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, taking into account vulnerable groups and their development needs,' said the sources, who provided the language to Reuters. The leaders also said they would review progress toward that goal at future summits. The sources said the United States had pushed to removed watered-down language from an earlier draft." See Reuters story. [Subsidy cuts are inevitable as governments try to reduce deficits. They will be harder in countries where rich companies benefit from them.]

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2010 HaraBara, Inc.]