BATON ROUGE — Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards wrote an op-ed in the American Press highlighting the strength of Southwest Louisiana and the state's booming energy economy, as President Donald Trump travels to Cameron Parish.
The op-ed is below:
Shining a spotlight on Southwest Louisiana, and Our State’s Energy Sector
By Gov. John Bel Edwards
"Today, President Donald Trump comes to Louisiana to visit a liquefied natural gas facility in Cameron Parish, Cameron LNG, that is emblematic of the great success of Louisiana’s energy sector.
There is no better place for the President to visit if he wants to get the full picture of just how beneficial LNG has been and can be for a state. Cameron Parish is at the epicenter of this critical transformation of the energy sector, not just in the United States, but worldwide.
Louisiana has more LNG trains, or liquefaction production units, in operation — and soon to be in operation — than any other state.
By the end of the year, two major LNG projects, Cameron LNG and Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG, will be exporting enough natural gas to fuel 24 million homes on a daily basis. These two sites represent more than $30 billion in new capital investment, which has also been a boon for Louisiana’s industrial construction sector.
Our potential for growth in this area is stunning, as Louisiana has additional LNG projects under development that ultimately would fuel another 45 million homes.
Right now, 50 percent of all exports leaving Louisiana, more than $28 billion, are chemical and energy products.
Louisiana is truly helping to power the nation and the world.
Across our state, things are going well. We’re announcing new economic projects and investments in the tech sector, in manufacturing and, yes, in oil and gas.
Just last week, I stood with the Prime Minster of South Korea as we dedicated the $3.1 billion Lotte Chemical complex right here in Southwest Louisiana. According to Harry Harris, the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, the investment by Lotte Chemical, which moved its U.S. headquarters from Texas to Louisiana, is the largest single South Korean investment in the United States, period.
We are a friend to foreign companies looking to bring high-paying jobs to Louisiana. In fact, if you look at states of more than 1 million people, Louisiana is far-and-away the No. 1 state per capita in terms of foreign direct investment.
In Louisiana, President Trump will find a state that has struggled for years, with natural disasters and fiscal problems, among other things, but that is finally on the mend, thanks to hard work and bipartisan compromise.
We’ve balanced and stabilized our budget, turned a massive deficit into a budget surplus and now we’re investing in education at all levels, from early childhood through higher education, and in our often-neglected infrastructure projects.
Our GDP is the highest on record for Louisiana and our unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in 11 years. Personal income is at record levels.
And LNG investments like the one President Trump will visit are a major driver of this economic improvement. In fact, by 2021, Louisiana is forecast to have 35,000 people employed in the upstream oil and gas sector — 5,000 more than in 2017 — and our refining and chemical manufacturing sector is forecast to reach 39,000 jobs, the most since the turn of the century.
While we know that we have more to do, we truly are headed in the right direction for the first time in many years.
I’m excited about what’s coming for Louisiana, President Trump, and I know that after your visit, you will be bullish on our future as well."