Jeff Holmstead, former assistant administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for Air and Radiation, is one of the nation’s leading climate change lawyers as recognized by Chambers USA (2008–2019) and heads the environmental strategies group (ESG) at Bracewell. The ESG is a multi-disciplinary group that includes environmental and energy attorneys, public policy advocates and strategic communications experts—most of whom have had high-level government experience. Under Holmstead’s leadership, they work together on a daily basis to advise and defend companies and business groups confronting major environmental and energy-development challenges, both domestically and globally.
From his time in both the government and the private sector, Holmstead is very familiar with the environmental and energy challenges facing the business community. He advises clients dealing with an increasingly complex regulatory, legal and public relations landscape, drawing on his experience in policy development, administrative and legislative advocacy, litigation and strategic communications. He has worked with clients in a number of industries on issues related to climate change, Clean Air Act policy and enforcement, and energy policy—including the development of new coal-fired power plants, refineries, renewable energy sources, and electric transmission infrastructure.
Holmstead headed the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation from 2001 to 2005, longer than anyone in EPA history. During his tenure, he was the architect of several of the agency’s most important initiatives, including the Clean Air Interstate Rule, the Clean Air Diesel Rule, the Mercury Rule for power plants and the reform of the New Source Review program. He also oversaw the development of the Bush Administration’s Clear Skies Legislation and key parts of its Global Climate Change Initiative. Between 1989 and 1993, Holmstead served on the White House Staff as Associate Counsel to former President George H.W. Bush. In that capacity, he was involved in the passage of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and the key steps taken to implement those amendments. From 1987 to 1988, he served as a law clerk to Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.