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 op-ed: Plan to turn to imported natural gas will cost Puerto Rico dearly

More ratepayer-subsidized profits for companies well-represented in Congress

A series of announcements over the past couple of weeks by Puerto Rican officials signals a new—and misguided—push for greater reliance on imported natural gas for electricity production. If these plans come to fruition, they will saddle Puerto Rico with far too much expensive natural gas-generated power while crowding out cheaper renewable energy. The plan, […]

IEEFA update: U.S.-Canada trade tensions could scuttle Kinder Morgan sale of Trans Mountain Pipeline

IEEFA update: U.S.-Canada trade tensions could scuttle Kinder Morgan sale of Trans Mountain Pipeline

Political hurdles remain on government’s buyout of faltering project

The fate of the unfinished Trans Mountain Pipeline in western Canada may be determined 3,000 miles away — in Washington. The stalled project, designed to link oil-sands fields in Alberta with West Coast ports, would become nationalized under the terms of a deal announced in June that would have the Canadian government buy the pipeline […]

IEEFA update: New debt deal throws Puerto Rico under the bus

A reckless proposal to benefit creditors while sapping the economy

In a deal it announced this week between the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and some of its creditors, the federal Financial Oversight and Management Board, PREPA and the bondholders are only kicking the can down the road. The agreement means that businesses and households across Puerto Rico will be hit with a 10% increase […]

IEEFA update: An influential congressman impedes Puerto Rico’s recovery

Rep. Rob Bishop is interfering at the behest of oil and gas interests

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, has abandoned the sound fiscal stewardship that once made him a leader on fiscal solvency and responsible economic recovery for Puerto Rico. Instead, Bishop has succumbed to the special-interest quagmire in Washington and is now actively promoting unsustainable policies for the battered U.S. commonwealth. […]

IEEFA update: PREPA privatization law invites more contracting scandals

The door is wide open for conflicts of interest and political hires; New law will not lead to much-needed transformation of energy generation mix

The law that Puerto Rico enacted last month to privatize the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) has many flaws, including labor protections that are too weak, an unnecessary restructuring of the Puerto Rico Energy Commission and a lack of commitment to strong energy planning. And it is likely to lead to more contracting scandals […]

IEEFA update: The U.S. coal industry’s war with itself

Company versus company, and skirmishes between regions

When the current presidential administration took office, one might not have expected it to be the beginning of a new coal war—of company against company, region against region—each seizing the industry mantle, but none representing it as a whole. Industry watchers knew it would try to use the keys to the kingdom provided by its […]

June 29, 2018 Read More →

IEFFA Update: Looking for innovation in the wrong place, ExxonMobil opens an energy-trading desk

As its core business falters, an oil major seeks speculation-driven profits

ExxonMobil is said to be seeking a much-needed lift through an initiative on which the company has issued no official detail but that will vastly expand its trading capabilities. Hopes are, evidently, that by opening a bigger energy-trading desk Exxon—through speculation—can reverse its trend over the past decade toward shrinking profits, a trend driven by […]

IEEFA op-ed: Why the SEC should conduct the investigation of Puerto Rico’s debt obligations

One agency is well-positioned to do a thorough and fair review

Puerto Rico’s non-bondholding creditors — companies that have supplied the commonwealth with goods and services such as oil deliveries — have asked the court overseeing the commonwealth’s bankruptcy proceedings to let them conduct an investigation into the territory’s debt history. Clearly, a thorough and objective inquiry is necessary, but the organization most likely and best […]

June 22, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA op-ed: Latest Puerto Rico utility privatization plan is as flawed as the original

In its version of a bill to privatize the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, the Puerto Rico legislature has improved some on Governor Ricardo Rosselló’s original proposal, but lawmakers are ultimately failing the Puerto Rican people every bit as badly as Rosselló has. We’ve criticized the governor’s original privatization proposal for essentially aiming to set […]

IEEFA update: Fund managers who acquiesce to ExxonMobil’s climate-risk denial do their investors a disservice

IEEFA update: Fund managers who acquiesce to ExxonMobil’s climate-risk denial do their investors a disservice

New York state comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli drops the ball

It was a failure of epic proportions when, after demanding but not getting action last year, most shareholders voted to re-elect ExxonMobil’s board of directors on May 30, abdicating their duty to hold the company to account. Sixty-two percent of shareholders in 2017 supported a resolution calling for ExxonMobil to improve its climate risk disclosures. […]