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: 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 →
IEEFA Update: If Trump Is Looking Out for Consumers, He’ll Reject Solar Tariffs

IEEFA Update: If Trump Is Looking Out for Consumers, He’ll Reject Solar Tariffs

Trade Protections for Companies like Suniva and SolarWorld Will Only Drive Up Prices and Hurt Job Growth

President Trump is about to confront a policy dilemma that will test his commitment to U.S. job growth. The dilemma in question is manifested in a trade tariff case brought by two troubled U.S. photovoltaic manufacturers, Suniva and SolarWorld, that have sought protections against Chinese-made solar-panel imports. The U.S. International Trade Commission has heard the […]

November 9, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: The Puerto Rico Electricity ‘Privatization’ Discussion Is a Distraction

Turning PREPA Over to Outside Money Men Will Solve Nothing

Should the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority be privatized? That question, being kicked around in the wake of the collapse of the island’s grid, is serving mostly as a distraction from two fundamental challenges that hobbled Puerto Rico before Hurricane Maria and that continue to cripple it in the aftermath of the storm: (1) The […]

and November 6, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Puerto Rico’s Solution—a Microgrid System Supported by Solar Energy

Key to This Modernization Will be Substantial Reduction If Not the Outright Elimination of PREPA's Legacy Debt

In the lingering aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the flaws in Puerto Rico’s electric system are apparent. First among them is an island-wide system designed with the bulk of its power plants located along the southern coast of the island while the majority of the population lives along the north shore. Electricity delivery has been historically […]

and November 3, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Hope for Puerto Rico if Control Board Uses its Muscle to Promote Partnerships

A Model Way Forward in How New York City Recovered From Near Financial Ruin a Generation Ago

With the passage of the Puerto Rico Oversight Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) in 2016, the venue for solving the commonwealth’s fiscal and economic problems shifted sharply from the governor and the Legislature to the PROMESA board. Today, the Puerto Rico Electricity Authority (PREPA), specifically, is subject to PROMESA board oversight, and PREPA’s operations […]

November 3, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Reform Opportunity in Puerto Rico Electricity-Contract Scandal

An Opening to Establish Order, Oversight, Transparency, and Accountability

The controversy that has erupted over the mysterious electricity-rebuild award by the Puerto Rico Power Authority (PREPA) to a tiny Montana company has a silver lining: It can trigger a thorough audit of the agency’s contracting processes—something that has never happened in the history of PREPA. Now, it’s possible that the actual work done by […]

October 25, 2017 Read More →

IEEFA Update: Accountability for Puerto Rico’s Energy Must Be Baked Into FEMA Legislation

A Regressive Grid Rebuild That Will Only Cripple the Economy in the Long Term

As Congress contemplates how to craft emergency FEMA spending legislation for the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico, it must do so with an appreciation for the rare opportunity the moment presents. Puerto Rico’s electricity system, still in tatters 22 days after Hurricane Maria and with no set date for recovery, can be brought into the […]

October 13, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Update: Fallout for Peabody’s Wyoming Coal Holdings From Shutdown of Plant in Texas

IEEFA Update: Fallout for Peabody’s Wyoming Coal Holdings From Shutdown of Plant in Texas

The Loss of a Key Customer Challenges a Major Mining Company’s Bankruptcy Recovery

[Second of two parts] Luminant’s announcement that it will soon retire the Monticello Plant in Titus County, Texas, improves its bottom line by eliminating a liability from the company’s balance sheet. For Peabody Energy, which supplies that plant with Powder River Basin coal, the shutdown is not such good news. The Monticello plant gets its […]

and October 12, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Texas: Latest U.S. Coal Plant Shutdown Stems From a Saga in Which Investors Failed to See Change Coming

IEEFA Texas: Latest U.S. Coal Plant Shutdown Stems From a Saga in Which Investors Failed to See Change Coming

Markets Rendered a Harsh Judgment on a Bad Private-Equity Deal, Cheap Natural Gas, and the Rise of Wind-Powered Electricity

[First of two parts.] Last week Luminant and its new parent company, Vistra, announced the imminent closure of the 1,800-megawatts Monticello Power Plant in North Texas, near the Arkansas and Oklahoma state lines. It’s been a long time coming. The plant has operated at a loss for years, having failed to compete with low natural […]