Governor Blanco is leading Louisiana to the forefront in the race to secure the nation's access to the world's abundant and cheaper supply of natural gas -- the most environmentally friendly fuel supply. The country's lack of access to wider supplies of natural gas and its threat to our economy has been underscored repeatedly by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan in speeches and testimony before Congress as the nation's industrial and power complex continue to lose jobs, and consumers nationwide face ever higher energy bills.
Governor Blanco said that "Greater economic development for Louisiana is the cornerstone of my administration and has been my mission in public service. We are committed to ensuring access to economic, safe and environmentally friendly energy supplies that will not only create jobs in our state, but will keep jobs here." Cheniere and its contractors will employ over 600 people during construction of this facility and will create over 120 direct and indirect jobs when operational.
A recently released report "Economic Opportunities for LNG Development in Louisiana" by the Center for Energy Studies at Louisiana State University concluded that development of a liquefied natural gas infrastructure in the state could increase gas export volumes through the existing pipeline system by over 237%, could provide $398 million in annual gas expenditure savings, create over 13,000 jobs and preserve 11,600 existing jobs, and inject over $2.3 billion into the state economy.
Charif Souki, chairman of Cheniere, said, "We are thrilled by the reception of the state of Louisiana and Cameron Parish to our project. We are grateful to Governor Blanco for her leadership and support. We look forward to making a positive contribution to the economy of the state for many years to come."
The governor's staff noted that the plans for the terminal were presented to local and adjoining community residents in March at a widely attended Scoping Meeting conducted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which oversees safety and coordinates permitting of these facilities. FERC staff, there to introduce the project were pleased to find our residents had been studying the project since it was announced in 2001. A very loud chorus of support was the message FERC took home to Washington, D.C.
Governor Blanco added, "The residents, our civic organizations and I have written to FERC in support of the project and we will be contacting them regularly to ensure they do everything possible to satisfy our request to expedite Cheniere's permit. I also want to recognize the efforts of Louisiana Economic Development in facilitating Cheniere's choice to expand in Louisiana. We welcome Cheniere to our State and to our community."
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