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: Coal Stocks Lose, However You Dice the Data

IEEFA Update: Coal Stocks Lose, However You Dice the Data

Broad Indexes Are Up in the Short, Long and Medium Term; Coal Indexes Are Not; Little Indication Producers’ Performance Will Improve

If stock prices are any measure of a company or industry’s success or failure, the coal industry has been failing now for 10 years.     The recent progress noted by many companies in their second-quarter earnings reports notwithstanding—production increases, slight improvements in profit margins, some increases in exports via East Coast ports, and purportedly […]

August 18, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: In West Virginia Governor’s Scheme, a Bailout Disguised as a National-Security Program That Would Cost Taxpayers $60 Billion Over Five Years

A Flimsy and Dangerous Rationale Rooted in a Denial of Modern Energy Market Trends

Just how big a giveaway to the Appalachian coal industry is West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice talking about as he lobbies the White House for a $15-per-ton subsidy for coal producers in the region? Central and Northern Appalachia coal fields produced 167 million tons in 2016, which not incidentally was its lowest year of production […]

IEEFA Update: In Federal Coal-Policy Reversals, Trump Is Handing Out Snowballs in a Blizzard

IEEFA Update: In Federal Coal-Policy Reversals, Trump Is Handing Out Snowballs in a Blizzard

Companies Are Cancelling Applications for New Leases on Public Lands or Seeking Delays; Presidential Pronouncements Seem Little More Than Symbolic

Its reversal earlier this year of a moratorium on federal coal leases put into place last fall by President Obama got the Trump administration lots of applause from the industry. It got more this week for rescinding a rule that came onto the books several months ago in a federal policy change meant to end […]

IEEFA Update: Across a Bedeviled Industry, Too Much Coal Is Being Mined Still for Too Few Customers

IEEFA Update: Across a Bedeviled Industry, Too Much Coal Is Being Mined Still for Too Few Customers

As Arch and Cloud Peak Go First on 2nd-Quarter Filings, No Indication of a Long-Term Turnaround

Arch Coal and Cloud Peak Energy will report earnings tomorrow, the first out of the gate among the major U.S. coal producers. Whatever emerges in the details won’t alter the fundamental problems bedeviling the industry. A few notes on what we see: SNL, the energy-industry data repository, has overall coal production for Q2 declining from […]

July 26, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Op-Ed: To Avoid Heavy Losses, Insurance Companies Must Wake Up to Risks of Fossil Fuel Projects

Some Insurance Giants Have Divested from Coal, Yet Sector Continues to Underwrite Coal Projects and Fails to Ask the Right Questions

Insurance underpins our industrial society. Without prudent risk management by the insurance industry, no high rise can be built and no major factory can be operated. Taking a long-term view on risk, insurance companies have warned about the impacts of global warming and encouraged climate action since the 1970s. Their far-sighted position is not purely […]

July 13, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Swamp Watch: A New Coal Mine, the Russians, an Amsterdam Connection, and Trump …

IEEFA Swamp Watch: A New Coal Mine, the Russians, an Amsterdam Connection, and Trump …

Paringa Resources, Run by a Friend to the President, Aims to Add to an Oversupplied Market

Word is that a new U.S. thermal coal mine—the first since the election of Donald Trump—will break ground in Kentucky in July. Paringa Resources Limited, based in Evansville, Ind., says it has raised enough money to start construction on the proposed Buck Creek Complex Poplar Grove Mine. The company has announced also that it has […]

June 30, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Two Sets of Data Tell the Same Tale: U.S. Coal Industry Continues to Shed Jobs

IEEFA Update: Two Sets of Data Tell the Same Tale: U.S. Coal Industry Continues to Shed Jobs

Transition in Local and Regional Energy Economies Calls for a Strategy to Promote Growth, Replace Jobs and Sustain Fiscal Budgets

In a research report we published in January, we explained how the U.S. coal industry will very likely continue its overall decline in a trend that will be accompanied by both employment and market volatility. A passage from that report (“Short-Term Gains Muted by Prevailing Weaknesses in Fundamentals”): “Some mine openings and some attendant hirings […]

IEEFA Update: Climate Risk, the Oil Industry, ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson …

The Energy-Policy Story Is Snowballing

President Trump’s flamboyant withdrawal from the Paris Agreement dealt a reputational and economic blow to the U.S., where energy policy is becoming a bigger story than ever. A major but not entirely unrelated subplot is emerging out of an angry-shareholder vote demanding  that ExxonMobil, the biggest oil company in the world, show more accountability in how it […]

IEEFA Update: Pulling Out of the Global Climate-Risk Accord Is Trump’s Biggest Business Blunder Yet

Pursuing Politics Over Economics Is a Dead End

Whatever one thinks of the politics around the Trump administration walking away from the Paris climate accord, it’s a bad business move. By going back on the agreement, the administration is damaging the U.S. economy on several fronts. First, it means the U.S. will be stepping back from a new global era in energy production […]

IEEFA Update: Shareholder Vote on Exxon Mobil’s Climate-Risk Transparency Suggests a Larger Opening

Fiduciaries Who Embrace Their Responsibilities Will Look Beyond Fossil Fuels

A shareholder vote today on a proposal that would require Exxon Mobil to be more open about the climate risks facing the company is an exciting moment in activist-investor history. Mainstream institutional investors are joining with climate activists in a call for more truth in how Exxon Mobil manages—or mismanages—climate risk. Shareholders are asking specifically […]