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Shintech’s plant complex near Plaquemine in 2017.

The start of a new school year, the onset of the college football season and Shintech Louisiana announcing it’ll invest nearly $1.5 billion to expand manufacturing facilities in Plaquemine share one commonality: Energy.

Thanks to the state’s support for policies that allow for lower-cost, locally-made energy, more families can afford school supplies and gasoline to drive or carpool to the big game.

Case in point: Per a recent analysis from GoBankingRates.com, the median household income per paycheck in Louisiana is $1,755.85 — and families, on average, have $809.84 of that income left over after all expenses are paid. That’s about 46 percent, the report said, adding that Louisiana residents are among those least likely to live paycheck to paycheck nationally.

Louisianans keep more of what they earn because of lower living expenses, due in no small part to the availability of affordable energy, which allows manufacturers to operate more cost-effectively and provides more higher-paying, stable jobs.

Shintech to make major investment in Plaquemine expansion, create 100-plus new jobs

To continue this trend, lawmakers must continue to support reasonable solutions that help meet energy needs. That includes supporting the federal government’s proposal to expand oil and gas leasing in the Gulf of Mexico, which, reportedly could bring Louisiana nearly 24,000 jobs, $2.2 billion in annual GDP and over $1.4 billion in revenue for coastal projects.

Let’s maintain these positive trends by working together to ensure a steady stream of local energy, which will help create jobs, safeguard the financial security of families and attract more businesses by keeping operating costs low.

Link Browder

executive director, Consumer Energy Alliance

Houston