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Gregory Bowser, executive vice president, Louisiana Chemical Association and a panelist at The Advocate's 2019 Economic Outlook Summit.

Bowser said Louisiana could get nearly $90 billion in new projects, but the state is riddled with uncertainty. Until predictability comes to the Industrial Tax Exemption Program, companies may choose other states. Tariffs on steel and aluminum could also deter investment.

In response to a news conference reported on by The Advocate and The Times-Picayune, held by environmental activists after Mitsubishi Corp. announced it is considering locating a chemical facility in Ascension Parish, we want Mitsubishi to know Louisiana is open for business.

The Louisiana chemical manufacturing industry’s 30,000 employees and their families, the many thousands more employed with contractors and service providers and another 250,000 with jobs in the state generated by the industry, appreciate Mitsubishi considering Louisiana.

Despite what a few activists and agitators want you to believe, projects like this one keep Louisiana going.

Louisiana and the chemical manufacturing industry are strong partners. Our unparalleled access to natural resources, experienced workforce, access to transportation and other important advantages make Louisiana a great place to invest.

Manufacturing is the foundation of Louisiana’s economy. Our state’s diverse manufacturing operations are intertwined, providing feedstocks and products to be used efficiently by other operations in Louisiana. The chemical industry alone contributes around $2 billion in state and local taxes each year. The industry pays for four of every 10 Louisiana teachers, and its facilities are often the largest taxpayers in their respective parishes.

Even those who don’t work for the industry in Louisiana benefit from its activity. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen how important industrial companies are to our state and to the nation. Many Louisiana-based companies are making materials and medical equipment critical in the fight against the virus. Throughout the challenges of 2020, Louisiana’s industrial companies remained operational, offering much-needed lifelines to struggling parish, state and national economies as companies around the country shut down. Businesses in the state continued operations through careful safety measures and planning that kept employees and neighbors safe and essential employees and related businesses running.

While anti-industry activists make vague claims about health risks, decades of state research show areas neighboring industrial companies don’t experience worse health outcomes compared with the rest of the state. The facts are clear: Properly regulated manufacturing operations provide opportunity for Louisianans, and we do it safely.

Industry has long been a driving force for growth in Louisiana, and we continue to work together to move this state forward. Mitsubishi’s investment would benefit all residents and help to strengthen a long partnership with an industry that has served Louisiana and kept it financially afloat during times of unprecedented uncertainty.

GREG BOWSER

president, Louisiana Chemical Association

Baton Rouge

Our Views: Welcome new investment in Louisiana’s petrochemical industry