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Sunday, October 23, 2016

by David Halperin, Republic Report.

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, New York’s Rudolph Giuliani became “America’s Mayor,” mobilizing his city and standing as a defiant foe of the forces of terrorism. Then, after the devastating force in the New York area of Superstorm Sandy, Giuliani, campaigning in 2012 for Mitt Romney, again presented himself as a protector of the people, charging that President Obama’s reaction to Sandy was “disgraceful.”

But when it comes to curbing forces that could lead to more violent storms like Sandy, Giuliani is decidedly not on the side of protecting people. Because there is an overwhelming scientific consensus that the burning of fossil fuels is rapidly causing climate change, and that climate change leads to extreme weather events. And Giuliani’s own law firm is now at the forefront of efforts by the coal industry to block President Obama’s groundbreaking effort to regulate the burning of fossil fuels, specifically carbon emissions from power plants.

In 2005, Giuliani expanded his already extensive business activities by joining the 60-year-old Bracewell law firm, now called Bracewell & Giuliani. The firm has nearly 500 lawyers spread across 10 offices, including New York, Washington, D.C., Dallas, London, and Dubai.

Bracewell & Giuliani are particularly active as lobbyists and litigators on behalf of fossil fuel industries — oil, gas, and coal.

The day before the Obama administration issued its new rule for power plants, Scott Segal, a Washington lawyer with Bracewell & Giuliani, was already denouncing the rule in the New York Times. “Clearly,” Segal said, “it is designed to materially damage the ability of conventional energy sources to provide reliable and affordable power, which in turn can inflict serious damage on everything from household budgets to industrial jobs.” Segal, who represents Arch Coal, Southern Company, and others in the coal and power industries, has been lobbying to oppose the rule. He told the Times that he would sue to block its implementation.

One of Segal’s partners in the D.C. office of the Giuliani firm, Jeff Holmstead, previewed for The Wall Street Journal last week what arguments the coal industry will make in the lawsuit.

Holmstead is a classic revolving door lobbyist, having parlayed a job as an associate White House counsel under President George H.W. Bush, where he worked on environmental regulations, into a job as an environment practice lawyer-lobbyist at the powerhouse firm Latham & Watkins. There he represented the Alliance for Constructive Air Policy, a group backed by coal-fired power companies that opposed air pollution rules. He also became an adjunct scholar at Citizens for the Environment, a spinoff of the Koch brothers’ Citizens for a Sound Economy.

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  • Annemb

    Well Mr. Giuliani… for a while you led NYC on 9/11! Now your firm leads an attack on President Obama for his global warming plan! What? Living in NYC and after experiencing the weather extremes in the City that have plagued the City, should convince you that global warming is REAL!

    Ah, you’re more interested in protecting your income than the truth!

    • FireBaron

      Don’t forget – Rudy was kicked out of Gracie Mansion (the official Mayor’s residence) by a judge as part of his divorce decree (number three, I think). Somehow his ex got to live in a government-provided residence. From what I understand, she tried to fight her legal removal from the mansion when Giuliani was replaced by Michael Bloomberg. Great family, there, huh?

      • Annemb

        I had forgotten that Giuliani was kicked out of Gracie Mansion… I grew up in the Bronx, NY. I am a transplant in Maine. But I am still and always will be a New Yorker.

        You accurately describe the family. I’m Italian and he is an embarrassment to his (and my) heritage to put it mildly.

        Thanks for your post.

  • Dominick Vila

    Thank God this man’s presidential aspirations did not materialize. A man willing to attack a plan to prepare for, or at least mitigate, the effects of the worst natural disaster in the history of mankind since the Ice Age, in exchange for large sums of money from his wealthy friends, is a lot more than a political hack. His position, and the deliberate attacks funded by the oil, coal, and other industries, border on criminality. Sadly, the ones that will be left holding the back are likely to be our grandchildren.

  • howa4x

    The reality is if 9/11 didn’t happen Giuliani would have been driven from office. He was an unpopular mayor seen as hostile to afro Americans and Latinos. He was a former prosecutor who Like Christie became an elected official on their triumphs rooting out corruption, but not as social or environmental supporters. Neither had any legislative experience and served as their way or the hwy kind of leaders.
    The sad thing about this whole climate change debate is that we on the east coast can have two super storms a year, the Mid west will continue to have F-5 tornados with more frequency and the southwest will remain in an ever deepening drought . These are the facts and you can already see what is happening.
    Being 66, I will not see the worst of this in my lifetime but my kids in their late 20’s will. So all these young lawyers protecting coal, with young families will live through the worst of it, food shortages, rising sea levels, a surge in survival violence, extreme heat and cold. The polar vortex that brought extreme cold to much of the country is not an anomaly but will be a more common event. So what they think they are providing for their families but they are really doing is placing their children’s lives in danger or to live in a world much more deadly than ours.

    • TZToronto

      I ski, so the polar vortex will be great for that–except that the polar vortex may alternate with winters having no snow and warm temperatures. That’s the problem with climate change, at least for the present. Climate volatility will be the norm. I had think ice on my driveway from early December to mid-March; next year my lawn might stay green all winter.

  • Mark Forsyth

    One more facet of The Royal Scam.Provided by the revolving door that allows people like Holmstead to circulate back and forth between the law firm and government positions.We have a former corporate officer from Monsanto sitting on the Supreme Court bench and there’s little doubt that a bit of research would reveal other corporate officers from nefarious companies holding high office in places like the USDA,EPA,FDA,FCC etc.etc. They are only “temporarily former employees” as soon as their tenure in government is over,they return to their corporate offices.Nothing like having foxes guarding the hen house or Nazi’s protecting the Jews.
    Clearly,wresting power from the crooks is a massive job.

  • midway54

    And now comes the latest news about our grinning clown, whose self-perceived wisdom now regularly displayed on Fox “News” and more particularly during his failed effort, much of it centered in Florida, to gain the nomination for the presidency in the last cycle, garnered him one—yes, one—delegate. In his view, Americans should all draw near and listen with rapt attention to his vital pronouncements supporting the current policies and programs on the agenda of the plutocrats.

  • Angel Perea

    THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH: Time for a reality check. There they go again with political cold war of words! Does anyone find curious that our best American scientists with NASA expertise in have concluded that the over whelming evidence of climate change and itspotential damage is a critical issue? “A new study partly-sponsored by NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilization could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.”

    Yet these right wing ignoramusescontinue to play political games with our children’s future living conditions! Such stupidity of these mentally low intelligence high school drops is remarkable! But this is America, they do have the freedom to express the ignorant opinions, but no own made up facts!

  • Elliot J. Stamler

    I have no problem with Giuliani or anyone else in private life being a lobbyist—lobbying is constitutionally protected, i.e. the right to petition the government for redress of grievance. There seems however to be a subtext unwritten in many of these comments…we in NYC on Sept. 10, 2001 would never have reelected Giuliani and he could not be elected here now. He did provide excellent leadership after 9-1-1 but he also had and has enormous personal faults which we here know all about. He is NOT America’s mayor and he is not our mayor any more, thank God.
    I am a senior citizen now and I’ve seen my share of personally vile and venal politicians over the years. I consider Giuliani (whom I met) one of the three worst in my lifetime. The other two were Joseph R. McCarthy and George C. Wallace…and the latter recanted and apologized for his wrongdoing and evil.

  • bhaggen

    Help, help! Everyone, run for your lives! The sky is falling, the SKY is falling!