Our Views: State's peril and promise

Those of us who attend public policy conferences such as the recent Council for a Better Louisiana luncheon are familiar with the glass half-full, glass half-empty nature of discussions concerning the state’s future.

Listeners at CABL’s recent year-end gathering in Baton Rouge got equal doses of optimism and pessimism about Louisiana’s prospects from the panel of speakers.

Dan Borne, president of the Louisiana Chemical Association, offered the more hopeful view in his survey of the state’s vast natural resources. Borne said Louisiana’s deposits of oil and natural gas, along with the presence of the Mississippi River as a major artery of commerce, uniquely position the state to be an economic powerhouse. Borne added that recently discovered supplies of natural gas in the state should continue to be a boon to Louisiana’s economy.

But former Gov. Buddy Roemer, sounding a more sobering note, pointed to anemic population growth in the past few decades as telling evidence that Louisiana hasn’t met its real promise.

Roemer suggested that there’s much hard work ahead in 2014 for those who want to advance Louisiana’s destiny. That effort must include not only the state’s leaders, but the people who elect them to office.