Gov. Rick Snyder Reorganizes Agency for Energy, Public Service Commission

Press Release

Date: Jan. 9, 2018
Location: Lansing, MI

Gov. Rick Snyder today announced a restructuring of the Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE) and the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) as well as a change in the chair of the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board in response to MAE Executive Director Valerie Brader's resignation from the administration, effective Feb. 10.

MAE Deputy Director Madhu Anderson will serve as the agency's acting executive director after Brader's departure.

"Valerie has done an outstanding job leading the Michigan Agency for Energy and guiding state policy to ensure a stronger energy future for Michigan," Snyder said. "I look forward to working with Madhu and the Public Service Commission as we restructure the agency to continue its positive work on behalf of all Michiganders."

Under Snyder's Executive Order, the MPSC will take over some of MAE's responsibilities, such as the Customer Assistance, the Michigan Energy Assistance Program that administers low-income heating grants, and many of the staff that represent Michigan in regional and national forums. MAE will retain the Energy Security division, including energy emergency responsibilities; the Energy Office, which administers grant programs; and External Affairs.

MAE also will retain the responsibility and personnel necessary to represent Michigan's interests on national, regional and regulatory policy, especially in cases where the MPSC, led by Chairman Sally Talberg, must remain neutral on issues so it can carry out its responsibilities under state law.

Separately, Gov. Snyder designated Keith Creagh, director of the Department of Natural Resources, to assume the co-chair slot of the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board (PSAB) that Brader is leaving, effective Jan. 15. MAE will continue to have a seat on the PSAB.

"It's been an honor to serve the citizens of Michigan and Gov. Rick Snyder," Brader said. "I'm proud of the work the Agency for Energy has done with so many of our partners toward a more reliable and affordable energy future for Michigan. Together, we passed energy legislation that will be a national model, were recognized nationally for our leadership in energy infrastructure and security issues, ensured that the Upper Peninsula could have a bright energy future that they could control, re-invented our grant-making programs in response to feedback from stakeholders, and helped thousands of customers with their utility issues."

Brader, a lawyer, plans to join Rivenoak Law in March and also will be heading a new consulting company. She was named executive director of MAE in 2015, and among other efforts, led negotiations for the administration on the 2016 energy law package that garnered bipartisan support from more than two-thirds of the legislators in both chambers and was signed into law in December 2016. She began serving the Snyder administration in 2011 as deputy legal counsel and senior policy advisor to the governor.

Brader also has resigned her position as Special Legal Counsel, effective Feb. 10. In that position, she led the legal team for recent negotiations to secure Flint a responsible, long-term water contract. In her prior legal role, Brader was the point person for the governor's legal team on the Detroit bankruptcy and played a key role in the Detroit lighting legislative package.

MAE was created by executive order in March 2015 and is housed within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. MAE's executive director is appointed by the governor and serves as the chief advisor to the governor and other state departments on energy policies and programs.

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