Nucor has worked with the residents and area businesses in St. James, as well as state government officials, for the issuance of this permit. In 2009 the company completed multiple land acquisitions, bringing its total ownership to over $50 million and nearly 4,000 acres on the Mississippi River.
"We remain very excited about this process and the prospect of doing business in Louisiana and St. James Parish," said John Ferriola, Nucor's Chief Operating Officer of Steelmaking Operations. "We would like to thank Governor Bobby Jindal, Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret, and the men and women of St. James Parish, who continue to support this project and the jobs it will bring to Southeast Louisiana."
As a sign of continued support, Governor Jindal issued the following statement: "We have made economic development our top priority since day one. As a result, we've had more significant business development wins per capita than any other southern state for the last two years. But we're not stopping there. We will continue to do all that we can in Louisiana to convince Nucor that St. James Parish is the right choice for Nucor's exciting new project."
While the company still faces several hurdles, including climate legislation and regulation pending before Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency, which would make construction of a facility in the United States economically unviable, the issuance of this permit will allow the company to move forward in its site selection process.
"We're waiting to see what Congress does with global warming legislation," said Nucor's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Dan DiMicco. "Nucor is an American company and we would prefer to invest our resources in Louisiana. At the same time, we have more than 20,000 teammates and millions of shareholders to answer to, and we have to ensure any decision we make is done so with the soundest economic principles in mind."
DiMicco has said that a U.S. cap-and-trade system would add major costs to domestic steel manufacturing and would be an unfair burden -- as well as do little for the environment -- if foreign competitors, such as those in China, do not face the same restrictions.
"We look forward to seeing this process through and beginning work with the wonderful Louisianans we have come to know and respect," said Ladd Hall, Nucor's Executive Vice President overseeing the project. "We will continue to do our best to maintain the reputation we have as good corporate neighbors throughout many dozens of communities across the country."