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Valerie Brader

Valerie Brader: Developing an environment where businesses can grow

Valerie Brader talks with Kirk Heinze

By Caitlin Cox

Valerie Brader is the new chief energy policy officer for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Using her experience at Bodman PLC, representing clients involved in a variety of matters including redevelopment projects, environmental compliance and corporate organization, helped prepare her for her work at MEDC says Brader.

Brader’s work at MEDC involves developing and investigating energy policies at the state and national level.

“My goal is to help make sure our energy policy fits the goal of growing Michigan’s economy, but not in a way that is counter productive by ignoring the impacts on our natural environment.”

Creating a national energy policy is difficult, due to the diversity of energy sources across the United States, says Brader.

“Its hard to get there because the U.S. is so big and diverse and each state values its own natural resources.”

When it comes to creating or recommending energy policies at a state level, it's important to listen in order to create an environment in which businesses can grow, says Brader.

“Its important to meet and listen to people who have different perspectives and understand both the purpose of many of the laws and the importance of the opinion from the regulated community.

“I make sure that I am responsive to people, and do my best to create an environment where there can be growth without impinging on the values all Michiganders hold for a gorgeous, pure Michigan.”

Brader shares her views on Michigan's renewable portfolio standard and tells Kirk Heinze what she thinks will be in our energy portfolio in the future.

She also describes coal's role in our energy mix, the state and nation's power grid issues and talks about working with the Environmental Protection Agency's regulations.

MEDC is also focused on economic gardening, which makes sure that Michigan businesses that are already here, as well as those that might come, have an opportunity to grow. Energy availability and reliability are crucial to that process, she says.

“I really think that Michigan has a big resource base to grow from,” says Brader.

“Michigan has fabulous resources and there are a lot of reasons to want to live here.”

Greening of the Great Lakes airs each weekend on News/Talk 760 WJR and around the state on the Michigan Talk Network.

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