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. 


Puerto Rico Redux: PREPA Should Go Back to the Drawing Board


Puerto Rico Redux: PREPA Should Go Back to the Drawing Board


After Agreeing to a Debt-Restructuring Deal that Benefits Consultants and Bondholders at the Expense of Ratepayers, Little Choice Now But to Start Over



Here’s a core tenant of any well-functioning electricity utility: Households and businesses in the service area of the utility must be able to afford the rates charged by the utility. When rates are too high,  damage of all sorts results. This is what’s happening today in Puerto Rico, where electricity rates exceed 16 cents per […]

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IEEFA New York: A Case of  a Community Dealing Constructively With Its Loss of Coal-Industry Revenues


IEEFA New York: A Case of a Community Dealing Constructively With Its Loss of Coal-Industry Revenues


Where Local and State Leaders Got Ahead of the Curve and Tapped Alternative Revenue to Keep Schools Going, and Where Solar Investment Is Creating New Jobs

Not everything always has to to go from bad to worse. A little money can make a difference. This week’s news that officials in Tonawanda, N.Y., had settled for a very low tax-payment adjustment from owners of the retired Huntley coal plant means an enormous loss in revenues to the city, the town and the […]

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In Kowtowing to Bondholders, Puerto Rico’s Electric Company Neglects the Future

Between Debt Restructuring and Plans for Natural-Gas Dependency, Missed Potential in Affordable Renewables

[This is one in a series of commentaries over the past few days on mismanagement at the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.] The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s debt crisis happens to be unfolding at a time when the agency is out of compliance with federal air quality regulations and should be moving aggressively toward […]

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New Debt Deal Was Supposed to Solve PREPA’s Financial Problems. It Doesn’t.


New Debt Deal Was Supposed to Solve PREPA’s Financial Problems. It Doesn’t.


Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority Remains Overleveraged; Creditors Will Face Another Round of Renegotiations, Probably Within Five Years

[This is one in a series of commentaries over the past few days on mismanagement at the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority: Today, how the recent debt-restructuring deal falls short of its core goals. Thursday, neglecting renewables.] The whole pitch for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s recently approved debt restructuring was that it would […]

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PREPA Is Paying a High Price, and for Consultants Who Didn’t Get the Job Done

PREPA Is Paying a High Price, and for Consultants Who Didn’t Get the Job Done

As Puerto Rico Agency Remains on Perilous Footing, Advisor Fees Total $93 Million, Well Over the Norm and Twice the Original Estimate

[This is one in a series of commentaries on mismanagement at the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority: Today, details on fees to consultants and advisors; Wednesday, how the recent debt-restructuring deal falls short of its core goals; Thursday, neglecting renewables.] As we explained in a post here yesterday, the debt structuring approved recently for the […]

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Puerto Rico’s Proposed Electricity Turnaround Banks Largely on Hope


PREPA’s Projected 55% Rate Increase Is the Best-Case Scenario


[This is one in a series of commentaries on mismanagement at the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority: Today, likely increases in electricity rates; Tuesday, details on fees to consultants and advisors; Wednesday, how the recent debt-restructuring deal falls short of its core goals; Thursday, neglecting renewables.] The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority is moving forward […]

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IEEFA Puerto Rico Report: Debt Restructuring Deal for Commonwealth’s Electric Company Only Makes Matters Worse

IEEFA Puerto Rico Report: Debt Restructuring Deal for Commonwealth’s Electric Company Only Makes Matters Worse

Higher Customer Rates, New Burdens on the Economy, Hurdles to Renewables; Transparency Is Lacking, Consultants Are Overpaid, Financial Stability Has Not Been Achieved

[This is the first of five commentaries: Next week, detail on likely increases in electricity rates; fees to consultants and advisors; how the deal falls short of its core goals; short shrift to renewables.] Earlier this year, Puerto Rico enacted the Electric Power Authority Revitalization Act to allow for the restructuring of the Puerto Rico […]

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As Texas Coal-Fired Power Plants Close, Powder River Basin Mines Are Losing Their Largest Customers

As Texas Coal-Fired Power Plants Close, Powder River Basin Mines Are Losing Their Largest Customers

Electricity Companies in the Lone Star State Have Changed Fuel Preferences

As Powder River Basin coal producers try to work their way out of bankruptcy they are waging an uphill battle against a market that continues to decline internationally, nationally, and regionally. Nowhere is this conundrum better illustrated than in what’s happening in the power-generation industry over a thousand miles away in Texas, which burns more […]

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IEEFA New York: NYC Pension Funds Begin to Craft a Fossil-Fuel Divestment Path Others Can Follow

IEEFA New York: NYC Pension Funds Begin to Craft a Fossil-Fuel Divestment Path Others Can Follow

As the Financial Rationale Grows, a Mechanism for Exercising Fiduciary Responsibility

A certain recent RFP from the New York City comptroller on behalf of the city’s pension funds could be the beginning of something big. It calls for a carbon footprint analysis of the funds’ holdings and advertises an opening for a climate-risk investment-strategy consultant. While the RFP is shrouded in pension-speak, its aim is clear: […]

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IEEFA Puerto Rico: The Hidden Boogeyman in the Commonwealth’s Debt Crisis

IEEFA Puerto Rico: The Hidden Boogeyman in the Commonwealth’s Debt Crisis

What’s overlooked in Puerto Rico’s debt crisis is how so much of it can be tied back to a dangerously fossil-fuel dependent and debt-laden electricity system. The bill that Congress passed—and that President Obama signed into law last week—ignores dangerous flaws in makeover plans for the island’s utility, which would only worsen Puerto Rico’s dire economic situation. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority is […]

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