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: 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 →

IEEFA Op-Ed: In 2018, Expect Clean Energy to Be Cheap Energy

Changing Market Dynamics Will Affect Investors, Households, Businesses and Economies Around the World

The central fact that will drive the energy industry worldwide in 2018, profoundly affecting businesses, consumers and policymakers, is that “clean energy” is now “cheap energy.” Fossil fuel extraction is expensive. It is giving way to cheaper, more flexible technologies, primarily renewables like wind and solar, and electric vehicles. These shifts will change investment decisions, […]

January 9, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Op-Ed: Cuomo Is Right on Fossil Fuel Divestment

Oil Stocks are Not the Reliable Performers They Used to Be; Divestment Would Improve Pension Fund Portfolios

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has taken a big, bold step in the fight against global warming, calling for the state pension fund to divest from oil and gas stocks. It’s also a fiscally prudent step, protecting both the state pension fund and the state budget. Retirees needing financial security, young people facing a chaotic climate, and […]

January 4, 2018 Read More →

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 →