Energy Agency chief resigns to join law firm
Lansing — Gov. Rick Snyder announced Tuesday that the head of the Michigan Agency for Energy will resign from her position in February.
After resigning on Feb. 10, Valerie Brader will be replaced by MAE Deputy Director Madhu Anderson, who will serve as the agency’s acting executive director. Brader, who has lead the agency since 2015, is leaving her post to join Rivenoak Law in Troy in March and will be leading a new consulting firm, according to Snyder’s office.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh will now serve as co-chairman of the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board in Brader’s absence.
The board serves an advisory role to the state on pipeline safety issues, including issues related to Enbridge’s Line 5, which carries about 23 million gallons of oil and some liquid natural gas through the Straits of Mackinac each day.
Under a new executive order Snyder’s office also announced Tuesday, the Michigan Public Service Commission will take over some of the responsibilities that the MAE previously had, including customer assistance and administering low-income heating grants.
“It’s been an honor to serve the citizens of Michigan and Gov. Rick Snyder,” Brader said in a statement. “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,” she continued.
Brader also resigned from serving as Special Legal Counsel in negotiations with Flint for a long-term water contract. Brader previously served an adviser to Snyder on the Detroit bankruptcy, according to Snyder’s office.