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 Canada: Ill-advised oil sands project faces rough future

Math doesn’t add up on Teck’s Frontier initiative

Teck’s $20.6 billion Frontier Oil Sands Mine Project, now before the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency Joint Review Panel, faces an extraordinary and alarming combination of risks.  The project will face financial distress for its entire 41-year life cycle, according to the report by our organization, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA.org),  neither […]

and October 10, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA update: The unsustainable debt deal that won’t die

Magical debt thinking persists even with Puerto Rico’s economy declining and PREPA losing money

July’s proposal to pay bondholders 77 cents on the dollar for about a third of the debt of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) straggles on, neither approved nor rejected despite deadlines passing. If the measure of success of a debt settlement is that it offers realistic payouts to bondholders while allowing the debtor […]

IEEFA op-ed: Conflicted consultants prove costly for Puerto Rico

Millions of dollars squandered on rejected restructuring plans, and a $1.1 billion loss on risky interest rate bets

Overreliance on outside consultants with conflicts of interest and the failure to invest in a competent workforce have imposed huge costs on and severely weakened the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) and other Puerto Rico government agencies. That’s one of many important lessons from the investigation of Puerto Rico’s debt crisis recently published by […]

October 4, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA update: Whether prices are high or low, the oil and gas industry is freighted with risk

As technology advances, fossil fuels are expensive at any price

Over the past few years, the rationale for investment in fossil fuels has changed from being one supported by blue-chip, long-term value into a more speculative, volatile proposition driven by quarterly dividends. As a result, the direction of oil prices is increasingly relevant, having become the lens through which investment is assessed, and revenue and […]

IEEFA update: Peabody continues to grapple with decline

Lease relinquishments are a sign of deeper trouble

In Peabody Energy’s recent relinquishment of some of its federal coal leases, the company is cleaning up its production cost side in the face of declining demand, particularly for the lower-quality 8400 BTU product that comes out of the Powder River Basin. The particular Wyoming coal in question has gone from being an asset to […]

September 20, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA op-ed: Colorado’s pension fund shouldn’t bank on the future of oil and gas

Past performance is no guarantee of future success

By adopting a fossil-free portfolio strategy as has been urged, the Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado would be doing right by its 560,000 members, ensuring steadier investment returns as the oil and gas industry faces continued uncertainty and decline. In a paper commissioned by the Independent Petroleum Association of America, an anti-divestment consultant and […]

September 18, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA update: Rampant political hiring at PREPA only makes matters worse

Too many ‘empleados de confianza’ at the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority

The Kobre & Kim report on Puerto Rico’s debt crisis shines a light on the corrosive impact of political hiring at various governmental agencies on the island, including at its public electric utility. By subsuming competent management to the rough and tumble of political interference in government decision-making and operations, Puerto Rico’s leaders have created […]

September 14, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA update: Six real-world rebuttals to divestment naysayers

IEEFA update: Six real-world rebuttals to divestment naysayers

A tendency among academics to overlook the burgeoning risk in fossil fuel holdings

Academic arguments against divesting from the oil and gas sector are just that—academic—and those who make them ignore the underperformance of the sector and the array of mounting risks it faces. The principal objections of divestment detractors—that divestment will either cause institutional investment funds to lose money or undermine their ability to meet their objectives—are […]

and September 12, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA update: Is a pay-to-play racket driving Puerto Rico to ruin?

Who got picked to be bond advisers, why, and how much were they compensated?

The Kobre & Kim debt investigation report on Puerto Rico that we wrote about earlier this week establishes a framework for bondholders (and the government) to bring claims against the financial advice industry that participated in the island’s bankruptcy. But it has important omissions. The report leaves out any mention of how the underwriters, bond […]

September 7, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA update: Accountability for the banks, law firms, accountants and credit agencies that orchestrated Puerto Rico’s $72 billion debt crisis

An investigative report names names: Companies that profited from an island's fiscal despair are worth over $2 trillion

An army of high-priced talent from some of the world’s most prestigious law firms, accounting companies, investment banks and credit agencies provided the advice and counsel to the Puerto Rican government that paved the way to the commonwealth’s $72 billion debt problem. The same lawyers, accountants, bankers and credit-rating experts continue to have the ear […]

September 4, 2018 Read More →