Greenpeace putting the screws to Duke Energy

For talking out of both sides of their mouth on the mercury issue:

“Given your stated preparedness for the rule, we are puzzled by Duke Energy’s potential affiliation with the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council. As you may know, the ERCC is aggressively seeking to delay and weaken much-needed federal mercury protections.”

Here's a little background on ERCC, for those who can stomach it:

Jeffrey Holmstead’s clients are almost exclusively coal-burning electric utility interests. Since Holmstead joined Bracewell & Giuliani in 2007, and how much they’ve paid B&G since Holmstead joined in 2007:

•Electric Reliability Coordinating Council: $4,517,500
•Southern Company: $1,820,000
•Progress Energy: $778,000
•Duke Energy, Ameren and Energy Future Holdings: $668,000 (each)
•Arch Coal: $470,000
•Salt River Project: $414,000
Southern Co, Duke, Progress and EFH are known members of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council (ERCC), a coal utility front group run out of Bracewell & Giuliani's office by fellow B&G lobbyist Scott Segal. The Electric Reliability Coordinating Council doesn't disclose its other members.

While Jeff Holmstead has been a polluter ally as a lobbyist, he also worked internally to undermine the Clean Air Act during his time as EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation. Holmstead worked to weaken the new source review program, which ensures modified or upgraded power plants don’t increase pollution after they are retrofitted, and "oversaw the development of the Bush Administration’s Clear Skies Legislation," which would have allowed for increased power plant pollution. Holmstead also refused requests from former Senator Jim Jeffords (I-VT) to reveal internal documentation concerning the Clean Air Act. For these reasons, Holmstead was named “Clean air villain of the month” in March, 2002 by the Clean Air Trust.

Jeff Holmstead received notable attention in 2010 for working with Sen. Lisa Murkowski and lobbyist Roger R. Martella, Jr. to craft legislation intended to stop EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gasses. Before working on the obstuction legislation with Murkowski and Martella, Holmstead’s employer and two of his major clients (Duke and Southern Co.) donated over $125,000 to Murkowski’s PAC. Other companies that both donated to Murkowski and paid Holmstead's firm to represent them in the 2009-2010 Congress were Ameren, Progress Energy, Arch Coal, and the Salt River Project.

Jeff Holmstead has ties to Koch Industries through the now-defunct Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE), which became astroturf group FreedomWorks as its associated sister group, the Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation, became Americans for Prosperity and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation. Holmstead was an adjunct scholar for Citizens for the Environment (CFE), a spinoff of Citizens for a Sound Economy. The Pittsburg Post-Gazette reported that Citizens for the Environment "labeled most environmental problems -- including acid rain, natural resource depletion and shrinking landfill space -- as myths," and noting that the group had "no citizen membership of its own." Citizens for a Sound Economy was founded and funded by the Kochs; FreedomWorks and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation are still major recipients of Koch dollars, and David Koch is the chairman of the latter group.

I'm a firm believer that an individual can hold two diverging (and even opposing) opinions without being afflicted with a multiple personality disorder. But you can't get involved with something as sleazy as the ERCC and still claim you're genuinely worried about mercury emissions. Well, I guess you could claim it, but anybody over the age of three would know you're lying.