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The Times Picayune - Insist on Striking a Better Deal with Oil Industry


Location: Baton Rouge, LA

The Times Picayune - Insist on Striking a Better Deal with Oil Industry

Re: "Grab the megaphone," Our Opinions, June 12.

Thank you for recognizing me in your editorial as the only candidate for governor with a publicized economic plan for Louisiana. You noted that I alone have provided details on spending and taxes, and you suggested that speaking out on controversial subjects was an act of courage during an election campaign.

And yet you dismissed my plan as "an ill-conceived scheme."

If repealing the state's personal and corporate income tax and giving back to Louisiana taxpayers $3.1 billion is a "scheme," then I am for it. If calling for Louisiana to update our 86-year-old approach to taxing oil and gas to gain some revenue from foreign oil imports is a "scheme," I am for it.

My plan is an improvement on the Coastal Wetlands Environmental Levy that Gov. Dave Treen tried nearly 30 years ago. He was right then, and I am right now. We are both insisting that Louisiana negotiate a better deal with the oil industry.

How long should Louisiana operate with a 1921 tax system?

I frankly expect the state's largest newspaper to say something more insightful about my plan than simply repeating the oil industry's tired threat to leave Louisiana. The oil industry will leave Louisiana when we no longer have the oil and the facilities to process it. I welcome their presence and don't want them to leave; I simply want a new plan to replace the 1921 severance tax.

I have a bold plan to make Louisiana the most progressive state in the South. It jump-starts our economy. It rebuilds our coastline, highways, health-care and educational systems. It provides money for New Orleans to recover. It's not trimming around the edges.

If The Times-Picayune and my opponents don't like my plan, what is yours? I welcome the debate.

Foster Campbell
Public Service Commissioner
Baton Rouge

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