Author Archive: Tom Sanzillo

Director of Finance Tom Sanzillo has 30 years of experience in public and private finance, including as a first deputy comptroller of New York State, where he held oversight over a $156 billion pension fund and $200 billion in municipal bond programs.

IEEFA Update: Accountability for Puerto Rico’s Energy Must Be Baked Into FEMA Legislation

A Regressive Grid Rebuild That Will Only Cripple the Economy in the Long Term

As Congress contemplates how to craft emergency FEMA spending legislation for the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico, it must do so with an appreciation for the rare opportunity the moment presents. Puerto Rico’s electricity system, still in tatters 22 days after Hurricane Maria and with no set date for recovery, can be brought into the […]

October 13, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Fallout for Peabody’s Wyoming Coal Holdings From Shutdown of Plant in Texas

IEEFA Update: Fallout for Peabody’s Wyoming Coal Holdings From Shutdown of Plant in Texas

The Loss of a Key Customer Challenges a Major Mining Company’s Bankruptcy Recovery

[Second of two parts] Luminant’s announcement that it will soon retire the Monticello Plant in Titus County, Texas, improves its bottom line by eliminating a liability from the company’s balance sheet. For Peabody Energy, which supplies that plant with Powder River Basin coal, the shutdown is not such good news. The Monticello plant gets its […]

and October 12, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Texas: Latest U.S. Coal Plant Shutdown Stems From a Saga in Which Investors Failed to See Change Coming

IEEFA Texas: Latest U.S. Coal Plant Shutdown Stems From a Saga in Which Investors Failed to See Change Coming

Markets Rendered a Harsh Judgment on a Bad Private-Equity Deal, Cheap Natural Gas, and the Rise of Wind-Powered Electricity

[First of two parts.] Last week Luminant and its new parent company, Vistra, announced the imminent closure of the 1,800-megawatts Monticello Power Plant in North Texas, near the Arkansas and Oklahoma state lines. It’s been a long time coming. The plant has operated at a loss for years, having failed to compete with low natural […]

IEEFA Update: Politics Is the Main Barrier to Solar Energy Independence in Puerto Rico

IEEFA Update: Politics Is the Main Barrier to Solar Energy Independence in Puerto Rico

Tesla Inc.’s interest in turning Puerto Rico into a renewable-energy powerhouse is in its infancy, but the company’s experience with solar is not. The core challenges to bringing a sun-powered electricity-grid to the island are not in the technical constraints but in the political ones—the government’s historic tolerance for innovation and modernization is well known. […]

and October 10, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Trump Says Eliminate Puerto Rico’s Debt: We Agree

Liability Must Be Apportioned Too, and Criminal Action Must Result

President Trump, who knows a thing or two about bankruptcy, says Puerto Rico’s public debt should be wiped out. We agree. The commonwealth owes bondholders somewhere on the order of $70 billion, with most of that debt tied to general-obligation bonds, revenue bonds and bonds issued by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). Ahead […]

October 6, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: In Campaign to Prop Up Navajo Generating Station, Peabody Energy Seeks a Victory Again at Somebody Else’s Expense

IEEFA Update: In Campaign to Prop Up Navajo Generating Station, Peabody Energy Seeks a Victory Again at Somebody Else’s Expense

Calculated Misinformation by a Coal Company Chasing Fading Profits

The last time Peabody Energy got involved with developing a new power plant it ended in financial chaos for 200 Midwest communities that had been talked into taking part. Peabody was the lead proponent of the Prairie State Generating Center in Marisa, Illinois, which opened in 2012 promising cheap electricity for the towns and cities […]

IEEFA Update: Puerto Rico Bankruptcy Court Weighs a Motion to Turn Back the Clock on Electricity System Reform in Puerto Rico

A Sudden New Move by the Status Quo to Thwart Development of a More Resilient Grid

Still horrifically crippled by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Puerto Rico is now facing a fresh indignity: Its long-simmering fiscal crisis is being used in a quiet attempt to weaken sound utility regulation and to stifle the island’s nascent shift to solar energy. Something resembling a bureaucratic coup is occurring within the context of a larger […]

September 29, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Swamp Watch: Will a New Federal Giveaway Keep a Mine Alive in Arizona?

Department of Energy Offering of $100 million in Fresh Funding for ‘Transformational’ Coal Projects Ignores a Long History of Failure; Likely Beneficiary Is Peabody Energy; At-Risk Potential Partners are Hopi and Navajo Nations

The stunning record of failure for “clean coal” projects in the U.S. has not kept the coal industry—and its allies in the Trump administration—from using more federal subsidies for reckless projects. The latest comes by way of a recent Department of Energy offering of $100 million toward “Fossil Fuel Large Scale Pilots.” DOE, along with […]

September 12, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: 8 Things in the DOE Report That the U.S. Coal Industry Wishes Weren’t There

IEEFA Update: 8 Things in the DOE Report That the U.S. Coal Industry Wishes Weren’t There

Markets Have Changed, Technology Has Evolved, Competition Is Stiff, the Grid Evolves …

When the coal industry and its allies persuaded Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry to commission a study on whether a long wave of coal-fired power plant retirements hurt the reliability of America’s electricity grid, the answer they were hoping for that the U.S. needs more coal plants.   But the conclusion that came back […]

September 1, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Decoding Glenn Kellow’s Peabody Recovery Strategy (Subsidies, Handouts, Giveaways)

IEEFA Update: Decoding Glenn Kellow’s Peabody Recovery Strategy (Subsidies, Handouts, Giveaways)

A Major Coal CEO Sees Market Intervention as the Only Way Forward

Ask Glenn Kellow his vision for how the coal industry will stage—much less sustain—a comeback and this is what you get: “We not only need to change the playbook, we need to change the entire game.” And: “We’re calling for a two-year moratorium on coal plant retirements, a leveling of the playing field with renewables, […]

August 25, 2017 Read More →