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Nov 03, 2006
EDITORIAL: Blanco plays key role in economic development

Periodically, the press office will publish editorials and columns that feature Governor Blanco's work in various areas.

Lafayette Daily Advertiser (online): E-Opinion: Blanco plays key role in economic development
Published November 3, 2006

Louisiana is definitely in the running for what is seen as the largest single economic development project in the U.S.

The Kuwaiti government is considering the construction of a refinery in the state. The investment could run higher than $4 billion; hundreds of construction jobs would be created, and there would be hundreds of high-paying permanent jobs available after completion.

The fact that we have a better-than-average chance of landing the refinery validates the argument that the chief executive of the state should lead industrial inducement efforts, becoming actively involved in presentations or negotiations. Top decision makers for business and industry want to deal with top officials of the state. We have had governors who declined to become involved, preferring to send other state officials. Their terms in office of such governors have usually been marked by minimal success in industrial inducement.

Gov. Kathleen Blanco is vigorous and visible in pursuit of business and industry. She doesn't send people to seek new projects, such as the proposed refinery. She leads them. Such an approach has served other states well. We believe it will have a positive effect on Louisiana's industrial inducement efforts. We may land the Kuwaiti refinery.