Editorial: Good news keep rolling in for Southwest Louisiana

Like manna from heaven, bountiful good economic news continues to abound in Southwest Louisiana.

Within a 48-hour period, two new liquified natural gas projects totaling $3.5 billion, were announced for Calcasieu Parish.

And a source told the American Press that another major economic announcement is likely to be forthcoming in the next few

days.

Houston-based G2X Energy said Tuesday

it would build a $1.3 billion natural-gas-to-gasoline plant on Port of

Lake Charles

property on the Industrial canal south of Lake Charles. On

Thursday, Magnolia LNG, an Australia company, announced it would

construct a $2.2 billion facility on the Industrial Canal to

export liquified natural gas. The company said it might eventually

double the size of its facility.

All of this pales in comparison to

Sasol’s behemoth proposal to build a $21 billion gas-to-liquid facility

in Westlake. And

it comes on top of the plans of Cheniere, Sempra and Trunkline to

convert their existing LNG plants — all at the cost of between

$4 billion and $6 billion apiece — for export.

One analyst has said Southwest Louisiana could see $40 billion worth of capital investments in new and existing energy-related

facilities in the next 5-to-7 seven years.

The vast majority of other economic announcements being made around the state look like chump change compared to our area’s

looming bonanza.

The abundance of natural gas and the existing pipeline infrastructure here required to transport it is the driving force behind

this economic surge.

David Dismukes, a Ph.D at the center for Energy Studies at LSU, said the plantiful supply of natural gas has led to a ‘‘virtual

manufacturing renaissance in Louisiana.’’

Natural gas, then, is the raw material. But it isn’t the lone component.

Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret and his staff deserve laurels for putting together favorable incentive

packages that have helped lure these companies to the state.

And, on a local level, Bill Rase, executive director of the Port of Lake Charles, his staff and port board commissioners,

and George Swift, president and CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, and his staff merit a pat on

the back for their work in helping to close these deals.

This coming construction boom that will

attract thousands of craftsmen will undoubtedly strain housing,

infrastructure and

roads during peak times. Those, though, are headaches worth

having. What community wouldn’t want those issues spawned by such

an economic gold mine?

This coming economic swell will likely not only be the envy of this state, but of this nation.

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This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney,

Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.