Saturday, December 02, 2006

Ex-Bush air man, now with Giuliani law firm, claims credit for Bush global warming stance

A most interesting exchange on this week's "Living on Earth" program, in a piece that correspondent Jeff Young produced on the Supreme Court case on global warming

Young interviewed Jeffrey Holmstead, formerly head of EPA's air pollution program, who recently joined the BracewellGIULIANI law firm (yes -- the named partner is former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is exploring a presidential bid) .

BracewellGIULIANI is one of the most active (and influential) law/lobbying firms opposing limits on global warming emissions. Its clients include the oil industry, Southern Company (a real power house in D.C. political circles) and TXU, which is trying to fast-track about a dozen new coal-burning power plants in Texas.

Young asked BracewellGIULIANI partner Holmstead about his expectations for the Supreme Court case. Here is a partial transcript:

But one former EPA official is confident the agency's decision not to act on greenhouse gases will stand. Until last year, Jeff Holmstead was EPA's chief of Air issues.

HOLMSTEAD: It was the decision that I recommended and I think it's the right decision and I think the Supreme Court will say that as well.

YOUNG: And what do you do now?

HOLMSTEAD: I just started work, I'm a partner with the firm Bracewell and Giuliani.

YOUNG: Yes, that's the same firm that represents power companies. But Holmstead says there's nothing wrong with his move from government regulator to representing the regulated.

HOLMSTEAD: I, I'm not sure why, uh, people have tried to make something of that. But people have to have jobs. And that's the way it works.

YOUNG: The court is expected to rule by the summer. For living on Earth, I'm Jeff Young, at the Supreme Court.

The entire transcript is at http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?programID=06-P13-00048&segmentID=3

You have to note there is some real irony here: Giuliani's New York City is one of the key participants asking the Supreme Court to rule that EPA has authority to limit greenhouse gases.

Yet his law firm has recruited, in a classic case of the revolving door syndrome, the very guy who is claiming at least partial credit for the Bush position.

You do have to wonder if Giuliani will become squeamish about his firm's activities if his nascent presidential bid gains any traction.

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