A study for the Louisiana Chemical Association shows the industry is responsible for nearly 80-billion dollars in annual sales and is the number one provider of jobs in Louisiana’s manufacturing sector.

Economist, Doctor Loren Scott, says his research shows the chemical industry is extremely important to our economy.

“We’re very lucky that we’re not maybe Alabama or Mississippi. It’s a very high wage. It creates a lot of jobs, creates a lot of tax income,” Scott said.

The Louisiana Chemical Association says it can remain a cornerstone of the state’s economy if it continues to have state support. President Greg Bowser says recent changes by the Edwards administration to the Industrial Tax Exemption Program has created uncertainty.

“The biggest barrier to growth is going to be some consistency from government. Our government has to make sure the regulations are consistent,” Bowser said.

Governor Edwards has taken steps to tighten the tax exemption program, so it leads to more job creation. He’s also given local governments more say in who should receive it. More changes could be coming to the program. Scott says ITEP allows Louisiana’s chemical industry compete with Texas.

“And Texas has a lot of advantages over Louisiana. They have no corporate income tax. They have a unified sales tax system,” Scott said.