Jeffrey Holmstead is a lobbyist for Bracewell & Giuliani, a top K Street lobby group representing energy industry clients like Southern Company...
Jeffrey Holmstead is a lobbyist for Bracewell & Giuliani, a top K Street lobby group representing energy industry clients like Southern Company and Duke Energy. He is head of the firm's Environmental Strategies Group.
Jeff Holmstead began his political career as the Associate Counsel to former President George H.W. Bush. During the Clinton years, Holmstead spent his time as a lobbyist for Latham & Watkins. In 2001, Holmstead was appointed head of EPA's Office of Air and Radiation and played a key role in the Bush administration's efforts to roll back clean air protections. Holmstead brought this "expertise" to Bracewell & Giuliani where he is currently a lobbyist representing energy industry clients, mostly in the coal utility sector.
Jeffrey Holmstead’s clients are almost exclusively coal-burning electric utility interests. Holmstead's clients have paid Bracewell & Giuliani heavily since Holmstead joined in 2007 and began personally consulting for them (with years as Holmstead clients listed):
- Electric Reliability Coordinating Council: $6,147,500 from 2007-2012
- Southern Company*: $2,300,000 from 2007-2012
- Progress Energy*: $948,000 from 2007-2012
- Duke Energy*: $868,000 from 2008-2012
- Ameren: $868,000 from 2008-2012
- Energy Future Holdings*: $868,000 from 2008-2012
- Arch Coal: $710,000 from 2009-2012
- Salt River Project: $454,000 from 2008-2012
- DTE Energy: $200,000 from 2011-2012
- Mirant (now GenOn): $270,000 from 2007-2008
- Chase Power: $100,000 in 2012
- Edison Electric Institute: $60,000 in 2007
*Southern Co, Duke, Progress and EFH are known members of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council (ERCC), a coal utility front group run out of Bracewell & Giuliani's office by fellow B&G lobbyist Scott Segal. The Electric Reliability Coordinating Council doesn't disclose its other members.
Holmstead in George W. Bush EPA:
While Jeff Holmstead has been a polluter ally as a lobbyist, he also worked internally to undermine the Clean Air Act during his time as EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation. Most notably, Holmstead himself made critical decisions that stalled mercury pollution controls on US power plants for eight years.
Holmstead worked to weaken the new source review program, which ensures modified or upgraded power plants don’t increase pollution after they are retrofitted, and "oversaw the development of the Bush Administration’s Clear Skies Legislation," which would have allowed for increased power plant pollution. Holmstead also refused requests from former Senator Jim Jeffords (I-VT) to reveal internal documentation concerning the Clean Air Act. For these reasons, Holmstead was named “Clean air villain of the month” in March, 2002 by the Clean Air Trust.
Underwriting legislation for Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK):
Jeff Holmstead received notable attention in 2010 for working with Sen. Lisa Murkowski and lobbyist Roger R. Martella, Jr. to craft legislation intended to stop EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gasses. Before working on the obstuction legislation with Murkowski and Martella, Holmstead’s employer and two of his major clients (Duke and Southern Co.) donated over $125,000 to Murkowski’s PAC. Other companies that both donated to Murkowski and paid Holmstead's firm to represent them in the 2009-2010 Congress were Ameren, Progress Energy, Arch Coal, and the Salt River Project.
'Citizens for the Environment' and Koch Industries:
Jeff Holmstead has ties to Koch Industries through the now-defunct Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE), which became astroturf group FreedomWorks as its associated sister group, the Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation, became Americans for Prosperity and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation. Holmstead was an adjunct scholar for Citizens for the Environment (CFE), a spinoff of Citizens for a Sound Economy. The Pittsburg Post-Gazette reported that Citizens for the Environment "labeled most environmental problems -- including acid rain, natural resource depletion and shrinking landfill space -- as myths," and noted that the group had "no citizen membership of its own." Citizens for a Sound Economy was founded and funded by the Kochs; the Americans for Prosperity Foundation is still a major recipients of Koch dollars, and David Koch is the chairman.
"The benefits of reducing mercury are very insignificant."
-Environmental Law Institute debate, "Resolved: EPA Utility MACT is the right tool at the right time," 25:58, June 7, 2011.