By MELINDA DESLATTE
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Lawmakers have reversed course and backed a $257 million agreement with a South African energy company to build a multibillion-dollar fuel plant in southwest Louisiana.
A week after delaying a vote, the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget agreed to the contract with Sasol Ltd. without objection.
On Thursday, lawmakers said they had received the details they sought from Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration to be able to analyze the project and determined the fuel plant would be an economic boon to the state.
Sasol is building a complex near Lake Charles that will turn natural gas into chemicals, diesel and other fuels, creating nearly 1,300 new jobs.
Greg Albrecht, the Legislature's chief economist, says the state will pay more for the project than its treasury will receive in economic return.
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