Holmstead mum on any interest in becoming EPA chief

Bracewell law partner Jeff Holmstead, who served as a deputy administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the George W. Bush administration, declined to say Nov. 16 whether he’s interested in becoming EPA administrator under the incoming Trump administration.

When asked by PennWell’s GenerationHub at TransmissionHub‘s TransForum East conference in Washington, D.C., Holmstead declined to comment on the matter.

A fellow Bracewell official, lobbyist Frank Maisano, had told the same conference on Nov. 15 not to be surprised if Holmstead ends up being EPA chief in 2017 under President-elect Donald Trump.

Maisano had said that he did not expect to see a “climate denier” be appointed to head EPA. The Bracewell lobbyist also said that he doubted Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) official Myron Ebell would be the Trump successor to Obama EPA chief Gina McCarthy. Ebell is leading the Trump transition effort for EPA.

“You are more likely to hear from the EPA administrator tomorrow morning … the next EPA administrator,” Maisano said, referring to Holmstead, who was scheduled to speak to TransForum East about the EPA Clean Power Plan. TransForum East is a conference organized by PennWell’s TransmissionHub.

“I told Frank … that he is free to speculate and I am not going to do that [speculate],” Holmstead said when being informed of the Maisano remarks.

The possibility of Holmstead becoming EPA administrator is being taken seriously by major media outlets. Both Reuters and The New York Times have published articles listing Holmstead as being on the Trump team’s short list for EPA chief.  

Holmstead leads the Environmental Strategies Group (ESG) at Bracewell. Holmstead headed the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation from 2001 – 2005.

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 revision of the New Source Review program. He also oversaw the development of the Bush Administration’s Clear Skies Legislation.

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.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.