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About Jeff

Jeff Holmstead, former assistant administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency for Air and Radiation, is one of the nation’s leading climate change lawyers as recognized by Chambers USA (2008-2021) and heads the Environmental Strategies Group at Bracewell. The Environmental Strategies Group 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 Jeff’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, Jeff 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.

Jeff 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, Jeff 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.

His understanding of the EPA is unparalleled. His collaborative approach to issues is fantastic.” “He’s brilliant...he’s widely respected across the industry.
Chambers USA, 2021

Experience

Publications and Speeches

Keynote speaker, “Plan for Growth and Sustain Compliance in an Uncertain Climate”, Environmental Resource Management’s Air Quality Roundtable for Natural Gas Midstream Industry, September 2019

Keynote speaker, “Sea Change? Energy and Environmental Policy Under Trump,” Southern Gas Association Management Conference, April 27, 2017.
 
Moderator, “All Trumped Up: The First 100 Days and Beyond,” Gulf Coast Power Association Spring Conference & Exhibition, April 19, 2017.

Panelist, “Clearing the Air on the Status of Significant Air Regulations,” American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Spring Meeting, March 31, 2017.

Panelist, “The Evolving Southeast Energy & Environmental Policy Landscape,” Energy and Environmental Policy Landscape: Charting the Course for the Southeast Electricity Sector, hosted by Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, February 15, 2017.

Credentials

Education

Yale Law School,
J.D.
1987
Brigham Young University,
Bachelor of Arts
1984
summa cum laude

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia

News

News

U.S. firm on withdrawing from Paris Accord

Trump riles Dems with pick for powerful EPA job

Trump's Team Is Split Over the Paris Agreement

Trump to Require Two Rules Be Killed for Each New One Issued

EPA’s New Source Review Program: Time for Reform?

A former air chief's warning about the EPA

Green billionaire warns GOP not to hold up Obama court pick

The EPA's Secret Staff

The GOP's quick fix on climate change

Delaying Clean Power Plan unacceptable

Court Gives Obama a Climate Change Win

Litigation Awaits New EPA Emissions Rules

U.S. Clean Power Rules Delayed

EPA may miss deadline on climate rule

What the U.S. Needs to Do to Meet New Climate Commitment

The coming climate onslaught

Supreme Court weighs issue of cross-state air pollution

Businesses Wary as Obama Picks Get Edge in Senate Rules

CQ News

Obama's climate plan aims straight at coal

Obama climate strategy represents piecemeal approach

The social cost of carbon is on the rise

Log-jam in agency confirmations

E.P.A. Will Delay Rule Limiting Carbon Emissions at New Power Plants

Major changes for emissions?

Why the EPA might delay its carbon rules for power plants

03.10.13 Looking Closer at Ernest Moniz, Gina McCarthy

Insights

Insights

FAQ: Reversal of "Once In Always In"

On February 8, 2018, ERM and Bracewell presented a webinar that took a look at the legal and technical issues related to EPA’s January 25th memo reversing the long standing “Once In Always In” policy. With this policy change, facilities that are able to be permitted as “area sources” under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act will generally be able to reduce the burden of paperwork, monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements and comply with air quality requirements with greater certainty and less headache.

Click here to view a recording of the webinar.

Holmstead Testimony on NSR Reform

 On February 14, Environmental Strategies Partner Jeff Holmstead testified before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the need to reform EPA’s New Source Review (NSR) program. As the former head of EPA’s Air Office, Holmstead argues that thoughtful reform can preserve the benefits of the NSR program while substantially reducing the burden that it imposes on U.S. industry. 

Noteworthy

Noteworthy

Chambers USA
Nationwide Climate Change, 2010 - 2021; District of Columbia Environment, 2008 - 2021
The Legal 500 United States
Environment: Litigation, 2012, 2016 - 2021; Environment: Regulatory, 2017 - 2021; Environment: Transactional, 2017 - 2021; Government Relations, 2019 - 2020; Energy Litigation: Conventional Power, 2017 - 2018
ALM Media Properties, LLC
National Law Journal
Energy & Environmental Trailblazer, 2016
BL Rankings
Best Lawyers
Environmental Law, 2008 - 2022; Litigation - Environmental, 2020 - 2022
Lawdragon Leading 500 Lawyers in America
2021

Events