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Bracewell LLP

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Jeffrey Holmstead

Work +1.202.828.5852
Bracewell LLP

Work Department

Environmental Strategies


Jeff Holmstead, former Assistant Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for Air and Radiation, is one of the nation's leading air-quality lawyers. 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.


J.D., Yale Law School, 1987; B.A., summa cum laude, Brigham Young University, 1984

United States: Government

Government relations

Within: Government relations

At Bracewell LLP, Scott Segal¬†and Dee Martin¬†‚Äėlead a terrific and experienced team‚Äô. Segal attracts praise for his expertise, ‚Äėespecially in energy and environmental policy issues‚Äô, which he showcased when representing the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, together with Jeffrey Holmstead,¬†in regulatory, congressional, public advocacy and media outreach matters. In another matter from the energy space, the team is acting for Valero Energy in a series of lawsuits against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); in one case, for the EPA‚Äôs failure to conduct required periodic reviews of the consequences of and viability of compliance with the Renewable Fuel Standard program of the Clean Air Act. For Andeavor, the group provides ongoing assistance on climate change and energy tax matters before the government and various committees, such as the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Subcommittee on Air Quality and the Senate Energy and National Resources Committee. Utilizing its experience of pipeline and energy infrastructure projects, the team assisted Williams Companies to develop a reliable¬†regulatory framework for constructing and operating a pipeline infrastructure. Non-energy related work included advocacy for the National Brain Tumor Society for more childhood cancer research funding, the provision of grants to states to identify and track childhood cancer cases and enhance the quality of life for childhood cancer survivors.

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United States: Industry focus

Environment: litigation

Within: Environment: litigation

Anchored in Washington DC and Texas, Bracewell LLP represents clients in contested case proceedings, project development, investigations, enforcement defence, and mass torts, covering CAA, CWA, CERCLA, and climate change, with a particular focus on the energy sector. It continued its assistance to key client Valero Energy in a lawsuit against the EPA concerning the client being defined as an obligated party under the Renewable Fuel Standard of the CAA and clarification of the regulated parties under the program. It also assisted Venoco in aspects relating to its bankruptcy, namely in terms of developing and implementing a strategy for addressing oil and gas assets with millions of dollars in liabilities related to plugging and abandonment of wells, closure or decommissioning of production and transportation facilities, and the environmental restoration of operations sites. In Washington DC, Jason Hutt leads the environmental practice; Kevin Ewing is an expert in midstream, upstream and offshore energy development; Jeffrey Holmstead is a leading CAA and climate change lawyer; and Lisa Jaeger previously worked as acting general counsel and deputy general counsel at the EPA. Houston-based Christopher Dodson co-chairs environmental litigation practice. In Austin, managing partner Timothy Wilkins is the other environmental litigation practice co-chair; Kevin Collins is a former assistant US attorney for the Eastern District of Texas; and associate Brittany Pemberton advises energy, oil and gas, and industrial clients in environmental regulatory compliance and enforcement matters.

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Environment: regulatory

Within: Environment: regulatory

Focused on oil and gas, Bracewell LLP advises on climate change regulation, LNG development, pipeline and other infrastructure development, and major environmental incidents. The team advises Cheniere on all environmental regulatory, permitting and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration compliance matters; it also acted for the Williams Companies in the development and implementation of a strategic plan for federal engagement on the permitting, construction and operation of pipeline infrastructure. In Washington DC, Jason Hutt is the chair of the firm’s environmental and natural resources department; Jeffrey Holmstead is a CAA and climate change specialist; and Kevin Ewing is another standout name. In Austin, Sara Burgin is a specialist on water issues; Kevin Collins is a former Assistant US Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas; and Timothy Wilkins is the office managing partner. Houston-based Christopher Dodson co-chairs the environmental litigation practice.

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Environment: transactional

Within: Environment: transactional

With an established reputation in the energy sector, Bracewell LLP advises on due diligence investigations, the negotiation of environmental indemnities, environmental disclosures to shareholders, and public policy considerations. Recent highlights include acting for Canada’s largest electricity transmission and distribution provider Hydro One in the $5.3bn acquisition of Avista, and acting for Venoco in relation to its bankruptcy, namely in terms of implementing a strategy for addressing oil and gas assets. The latter case was led in Washington DC by Jason Hutt, who chairs the firm’s environmental and natural resources practice; Houston-based Heather Palmer led on the former matter. Other key contacts include Timothy Wilkins in Austin, and environmental strategies group head Jeffrey Holmstead, also in Washington DC.

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