Two former Bush EPA officials — now industry lobbyists — helped Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) write a measure aimed at blocking the agency from limiting global warming emissions.
Jeffrey Holmstead and Roger Martella, Jr. helped the Alaska senator write an amendment that she intended to offer last fall, which would have prevented the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act, the Washington Post reported yesterday. Holmstead, an assistant administrator for air and radiation a EPA during the Bush years, is now a lobbyist at Bracewell & Guiliani, where his clients include Southern Company and Duke Energy. Martella, who was the Bush EPA’s general counsel, now lobbbies at Sidley Austin, representing timber industry interests, among others.
Holmstead told the Anchorage Daily News, which picked up on the Post’s report, that he and Martella weren’t acting on behalf of any particular client, and that they weren’t not the only people to look at the measure, which did not move forward.
“This is what lawyers in Washington do every day of the week, is to take a look,” Holmstead said. “It happens all the time on almost every piece of legislation. Before language is introduced, it is almost always shared with people on all sides of the issue.”
A Murkowski spokesman told the ADN:
While Sen. Murkowski did seek feedback on the amendment from many sources, including the Environmental Protection Agency, Democratic and Republican senators, as well as a number of Clean Air Act experts, it did not influence the substance of the amendment.
The spokesman pointed out that Murkowski had said on the floor that “some of our nation’s leading Clean Air Act attorneys — among the best and brightest legal minds — have assisted us in [the amendment’s] preparation.”
The amendment would have prohibited the EPA for one year from spending money on developing regulations for greenhouse gases. Despite its failure to move forward, the senator has continued to lead Senate Republicans’ efforts to try to limit the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon under the Clean Air Act.