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: After Restatement of Reserves, U.S. Coal Investment Rationale Gets Weaker

Big Write-Offs by Arch and Peabody; More Are Likely

Coal reserves are considered the measure of a coal company. Insurers, investors, government officials, market analysts and so on have typically considered company-reported reserves an indication of what can actually be cashed in on someday. Digging into the data in coal company disclosure statements shows how some coal producers are now acknowledging that reserves have […]

April 10, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Update: ExxonMobil’s Empty Climate-Risk Report

A Majority of Shareholders Want—and Deserve—More Transparency

Institutional-investor coalitions and shareholder-advocacy groups are deciding their next steps in the push for changes to ExxonMobil’s board as a result of the company’s weak recent climate-risk report. That report—as we describe in a recent investor memo—is defective and largely unresponsive to a resolution from shareholders, led by the office of New York State Comptroller […]

IEEFA Op-Ed: The Time to Reason With Oil Majors Has Passed

‘Shareholder Engagement’ Looks More and More Like a Cynical Ritual That Values Talk Above Action

When French insurance group Axa announced it was selling its coal assets in 2015, the question emerged whether rivals including Allianz, Aviva, Zurich and others would divest too. Some did, and some did not. A broader question also surfaced: would public and private investors now look to sell down all their investments related to fossil […]

March 8, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Op-Ed: Keeping Puerto Rico’s Electric Utility on a Short Leash Until It Proves Accountability

The Governor Should Step Aside Now and Let Proper Regulation Take Its Course

Power outages that swept the capital of San Juan last week serve as a sobering reminder of what Puerto Rico is up against as it struggles to rebuild its battered electricity grid. Almost 1 million people live in the area affected by the blackout, which is just the latest symptom of an electricity system in […]

IEEFA Update: Status-Quo Politics Imperil Public Confidence in Puerto Rico Grid Rebuild

Ill-Advised Efforts to Undermine Island's Key Electricity-Reform Regulator

While the reform-minded Puerto Rico Energy Commission has survived its latest assault by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, the governor still seems bent on the commission’s destruction. Earlier this month, Rosselló sought to consolidate the energy commission with four other regulatory agencies and eliminate its independence by having all members serve strictly at his pleasure. Puerto Rico […]

and February 28, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Op-Ed: Shareholders Need Not Be in Denial Like ExxonMobil Is

An Oil Major That Seems Unable to Acknowledge Climate Risk

ExxonMobil has prepared a new climate report in response to shareholder concerns about climate change, and the verdict is in: If you were hoping that ExxonMobil would seriously address the issue, you’ll be disappointed. Climate risk may be real, according to the report. But it says it won’t affect Exxon’s bottom line. In ExxonMobil’s 2018 […]

and February 26, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Red Flags Around ExxonMobil’s Q4 and 2017 Earnings

Oil Prices Rise … and Profits Stumble

ExxonMobil’s reporting on Q4 and FY 2017 earnings last week comes in a year when per-barrel oil prices for the company rose by 28%, as financial performance fell short of analysts’ expectations.  (While average West Texas Intermediate prices rose 19% in 2017, Exxon’s own “annual realization” around crude-oil data indicate a 28% year-over-year increase. More […]

and February 6, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Governor’s Utility Privatization Plan Betrays Puerto Ricans

Politically Driven Proposal to Eliminate Independent Oversight Is Not in the Public Interest

In announcing yesterday a plan to privatize the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said he wants private investors to buy the utility’s generation system and to operate its transmission and distribution system via private concession. Rosselló is also moving to remove any independent oversight of the utility, which would […]

January 23, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Update: U.S. Coal Loses; Consumers Win

FERC Decision Acknowledges Practicalities Transforming Energy Markets

The coal industry came away with nothing last week when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) unanimously rejected a Department of Energy proposal — pushed by the industry — to provide huge subsidies to coal-fired power plants in the United States. FERC protected the interests of consumers by standing in favor of market competition — […]

and January 19, 2018 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Two Clear and Opposing Directions Emerge for Puerto Rico

IEEFA Update: Two Clear and Opposing Directions Emerge for Puerto Rico

Fight Around Renewable Energy Intensifies; Federal Oversight Board Joins Island's Governor in Ignoring Legal Requirements for Energy Commission Approval of New Projects

Sixteen weeks after Hurricane Maria knocked out power in Puerto Rico, and with 45 percent of the island still in the dark, the political battle lines over what direction the electricity system will take are sharpening. On the one hand, the Puerto Rico Energy Commission (which regulates the island’s electricity system) last week proposed rules […]

and January 11, 2018 Read More →