It is no secret that our state’s economy is vulnerable and hurting. You do not have to look too far to see businesses closing their doors and industry running for higher ground — mainly to higher ground in Texas.

At this pivotal moment in history, we in Louisiana should be doing all that we can to support companies wanting to stay in and invest in Louisiana. Major companies like Exxon-Mobil, Marathon Oil and Folgers Coffee to name a few are trying to do just this.

But instead they are being met with a headwind trying to derail their investments into our state. These headwinds come from extremist environmental groups like the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and Together Louisiana and I am seriously concerned with the inflated influence and power they seem to have been granted publicly.

I expressed these concerns to Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson. I trust he agrees with me and I appreciate his work and willingness to help business and industry get fair and professional evaluations as they make their case before the various government entities necessary for approval by state and local officials.

Programs like the Industrial Tax Exemption Program promote business growth, maintain or add jobs and should be negotiated with qualified entities, not extremists like Together Louisiana and the Bucket Brigade.

The benefits of successful projects supported by ITEP exemptions dot the skyline and support the families of our cities in north, south, east and western Louisiana. These employers will help our state, economy and society recover and prosper once again — something we should all be fighting for.

ROBERT MILLS

state senator

Bossier City