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: Financial Facts Don’t Support Coal Industry’s Claims of 2017 Recovery

Failed Deals, Financial Losses, and Cancelled Leases Contradict the Rosy Picture Offered by Industry Executives

As 2017 ended, coal industry leaders made a number of upbeat statements to the press and investors, citing what they saw as good news: regulatory rollbacks by the Trump administration, promises of future federal subsidies, improved profits, an increase in coal exports and metallurgical sales, a few loan closings, and a late year stock price […]

January 2, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Puerto Rico’s Hidebound Electric Company

The Governor Said 95% of the Island's Power Would Be Back on By Now; It Hasn't Happened

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority continues to oppose constructive efforts to build a resilient new power grid driven by renewable energy investments. The agency, known as PREPA, remains wedded instead to an outmoded system dependent on expensive imported fossil fuels vulnerable to price volatility. That’s the gist of PREPA comments filed with the Puerto […]

and December 15, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Another Canary in the Coal Mine

IEEFA Update: Another Canary in the Coal Mine

Telling Details in a Deal That Transfers Two Wyoming Mines to an Appalachian Company

In the first negative-value transaction in the Powder River Basin proper, Contura Energy is planning to transfer two coal mines in Wyoming to another company in exchange for royalties from future sales and for the new owner assuming reclamation liabilities. Contura, formed when senior lenders took some assets during Alpha Natural Resources bankruptcy, Eagle Butte […]

December 13, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Op-Ed: Wall Street’s War on Puerto Rico

IEEFA Op-Ed: Wall Street’s War on Puerto Rico

Bondholders Who Insist on Their Pound of Flesh Only Risk Further Losses

A commentary that appeared the other day in the Bond Buyer, the debt industry’s newspaper of record, is but the latest salvo in Wall Street’s misguided war on Puerto Rico. The column, by a representative of Spire Wealth Management, complained strenuously that Puerto Rico was only hurting itself by pressing for much-needed debt relief. Such […]

December 7, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Op-Ed: ‘Pension Funds, Sell Your Gas and Oil Stock’

Former Blue-Chip Investments Bear a Greater Resemblance Now to Speculative Holdings

Last month, Norway’s $1 trillion pension fund announced plans to drop oil and gas stocks from its core benchmark stock portfolio. The move was of note because it served as an important acknowledgement by a major institutional investor that such holdings have lost their status as mainstream, blue-chip investments and are now considered speculative. It […]

December 4, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: The Many Risks in Rising Oil Prices

Prices at the Pump Will Go Up; Economic Fallout Will be Substantial; Oversupply Is a Possibility

OPEC member nations alongside other oil-producing countries yesterday announced the continuation of production cuts through 2018 in a move designed to keep prices rising. Last year, as the first wave of recent production cuts kicked in, oil prices were $45 a barrel. They have since risen 28 percent, to $58. While this upward trajectory is […]

December 1, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Norway Shows What to Do With Fading Oil and Gas Holdings

IEEFA Update: Norway Shows What to Do With Fading Oil and Gas Holdings

A Marquee Global Fund Sees Too Much Risk in Not Divesting

In recommending last week that oil stocks be excluded from its equity benchmark index, Norges Bank, the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) manager, has moved oil stocks from a mainstream investment to a speculative grade risk. If Norway’s Finance Ministry and Parliament agree, GPFG will still invest in oil and gas stocks, but under […]

November 22, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Puerto Rico: The Solar Industry Delivers in Response to Humanitarian Crisis

Ekotek, SunRun and Tesla, Among Others, Suggest a Path to Grid Modernization

As Thanksgiving arrives in Puerto Rico, families will gather for their traditional celebrations. But some things will be markedly different this year: for thousands of families, the locations of the get-togethers will be chosen on the basis of whoever has electricity in their home, since so many residences are still without power two months after […]

November 21, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Betrayal in Puerto Rico

A Pyrrhic Victory by the Governor Undermines the Island’s Recovery

There were no real winners in the decision this week by a federal judge to deny the appointment of a “chief transformation officer” to take over Puerto Rico’s bankrupt and mismanaged electric utility. The federal fiscal control board charged with overseeing Puerto Rico’s financial crisis had petitioned a federal judge to appoint Noel Zamot to […]

November 17, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: The Coal Deal That Collapsed to Nobody’s Surprise

A Debt-Fueled Arrangement Between Murray Energy and Bowie Resources Went Nowhere for a Reason

The quick collapse this month of a debt-fueled deal by Murray Energy to buy out troubled Bowie Resource Partners and its Utah coal holdings comes as no surprise. The acquisition was supposed to have been financed with $510 in junk bond debt. It took only 10 days to fall apart. The “capital raise” wasn’t getting […]

November 17, 2017 Read More →