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: 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. […]

IEEFA Op-Ed: Little Chance New Fiscal Recovery Plan for Puerto Rico’s Electric Company Will Succeed

A Weak Economy With Less Demand for Power Is Among the Many Risks

Customers of Puerto Rico’s bankrupt electric utility cannot afford to pay back the utility’s creditors over the next five years without jeopardizing much-needed investment in the rebuilding and resiliency of the island’s power grid. Nor can the utility continue to pay fossil fuel producers exorbitant amounts for oil, coal and gas. Those are the two […]

IEEFA Update: New Oil Price Volatility Will Help Drive Transition From Fossil Fuels

U.S. Reversal on Iran Creates Market Disruptions That Affect Consumers, Investors and Whole Countries

Oil prices were already on the rise from strong economic growth, rising demand and OPEC supply cuts when political intervention in the markets via the Trump administration’s decision last week to abandon the Iran nuclear deal sent prices to almost $80 per barrel—or a half a mile from heaven—for Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United Arab […]

IEEFA Update: As ExxonMobil Doubles Down on Oil and Gas, Investors Go Elsewhere

A Company With No Plan for a Less Carbon-Intensive World

Even with the recent rebound in oil prices that accelerated after President Trump announced the U.S. would re-impose sanctions against Iran, energy companies no longer dominate the stock market like they once did. In 1980, seven of the ten largest companies in the S&P 500 were oil companies. Today, ExxonMobil is the only remaining oil […]

IEEFA Update: Navajo Generating Station in Arizona, Next Big Hit to Peabody’s Portfolio

If Keeping a Failing Power Plant Alive Was Such a Good Idea, the Company Would Be Putting Up Some of Its Own Cash

To its credit, Peabody Energy produced more coal in the first quarter of 2018 than it did in 2017, at a time when production for the rest of the United States coal industry was down 6%.  However, despite the production increase, Peabody’s profits from U.S. production were 28% less in the first quarter of 2018 […]

April 27, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Update: After Restatement of Reserves, U.S. Coal Investment Rationale Gets Weaker

Big Write-Offs by Arch and Peabody; More Are Likely

Coal reserves are considered the measure of a coal company. Insurers, investors, government officials, market analysts and so on have typically considered company-reported reserves an indication of what can actually be cashed in on someday. Digging into the data in coal company disclosure statements shows how some coal producers are now acknowledging that reserves have […]

April 10, 2018 Read More →

IEEFA Update: ExxonMobil’s Empty Climate-Risk Report

A Majority of Shareholders Want—and Deserve—More Transparency

Institutional-investor coalitions and shareholder-advocacy groups are deciding their next steps in the push for changes to ExxonMobil’s board as a result of the company’s weak recent climate-risk report. That report—as we describe in a recent investor memo—is defective and largely unresponsive to a resolution from shareholders, led by the office of New York State Comptroller […]

IEEFA Op-Ed: The Time to Reason With Oil Majors Has Passed

‘Shareholder Engagement’ Looks More and More Like a Cynical Ritual That Values Talk Above Action

When French insurance group Axa announced it was selling its coal assets in 2015, the question emerged whether rivals including Allianz, Aviva, Zurich and others would divest too. Some did, and some did not. A broader question also surfaced: would public and private investors now look to sell down all their investments related to fossil […]

March 8, 2018 Read More →