1. Can you tell me about your professional and educational background?
Doug Roberts went to Hope College and got a BA in Business Administration and Political Science. He then went to MSU and got his master’s in public administration. After that, he worked as a member of the policy staff in the House of Representatives. In 2002, he started at the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and he really enjoys it.
2. What do you do on a day to day basis?
On Mondays, he generally prepares for the week ahead. This week, on Tuesday, he planned on going to a hearing on a renewable energy bill that would re-allow land waste garbage containers. On that Wednesday, he was going to about the executive order that would merge the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Quality.
3. How do you feel about the DNR/ DEQ merger?
“I agree with the merger, I just think there are a few details that need to be ironed out first”.
4. What are the details that need to be ironed out?
“Just a few things that have to do with organization, like taking the department of agriculture out of it. I don’t think that there should be unrelated items lumped together.”
5. Who are your legislative opponents?
“Primarily environmental groups like the Sierra Club, they tend to want to implement everything harshly and too quickly.”
6. How do you convince legislators to take your side vs. your opponent’s side? Generally, there isn’t that much disagreement on the legislation. He cited one example where a senator from west Michigan got a bunch of groups together to agree on one set of legislation. “Legislators are very good at bringing different groups together to get both parties to agree.”
7. How does the Chamber determine what side it will take on certain bills?
There are policy meetings where a law maker will come talk to the group, and then the whole group will vote on the issue. 95% of the time there is a clear majority.
8. How do you feel about Jennifer Granholms’ trip to Japan to get them to invest in Michigan’s renewable energy sources?
“I think that it is good to get Michigan’s name out there, I just don’t know how effective those meetings are. I am a bit doubtful about those types of meetings.”