Actually, Jindal, in an opportunity to showcase his own talents, his disagreements with President Obama, and most importantly, Louisiana's economy had Cramer choking upon his own words in an interview with the governor this week. The interview enabled the Governor to feature his and the state's accomplishments over the past six years of the Jindal administration.
The following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal tonight, Monday, March 10th on a special edition of CNBC's "Mad Money w/ Jim Cramer" at 6PM ET.
CNBC Jim Cramer interviews Bobby Jindal
Jindal discusses Louisiana economy, energy industry, politics
JIM CRAMER: Now Governor, I know unless you're going to announce for president right here, there's a lot of international, national implications. But I really care about is one thing, you have developed an amazing system to bring companies down here and harness this natural gas revolution. How's it going?
GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL: Well, Jim, it's going great. First off, thank you for coming to Louisiana. We're here in Paradise, Grand Isle. In Louisiana, our economy is growing. We're doing what Washington D.C. is not doing. So, for example, more people working than ever before, higher incomes than ever before. We actually-- our economy is growing 50% faster than the national economy.
Over $50 billion in projects announced in our state. Over 80,000 new jobs. It's not rocket science. What did we do? We cut taxes. We have the lowest taxes for our manufacturing facility anywhere in the country. We've made it easier for people to invest. We've got the top rated workforce training program in the country. We cut back state spending so we cut the budget 26%. Cut 28,000 government jobs. We're growing the private sector. And, by the way, we'd be doing this across the country if Washington would just get out of the way.
JIM CRAMER: Now, let's talk about this Nucor facility. Because that was -- it was stirring to see it frankly. Every American should be able to come down and look at that unbelievable plant which has got high wages, another time it might never have been here. How did you get that to come in?
GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL: Nucor, a great company. Over 140 people working in Saint James Parish already. Over $70,000 a year. And that's the first phase. That can be a $3 billion, $3.4 billion investment. Jim, this is about global competition. They were telling us it was between Louisiana and Brazil.
I worked with Dan DiMicco, their CEO-- their previous CEO and then John their current CEO. They wanted to build in America. And like so many companies, they want to manufacture products in America. But they're worried about the federal regulations, they're worried about the uncertainty. Dan said, "Look, we want to make things in this country. But we're going to build where it makes business sense to build." So we worked with them to give a predictable environment, we worked with them to make sure they had the trained workers. And we finally got D.C. out of the way.
But look at what this administration's doing. You know, the president's bragging about rising oil and gas production. We're actually seeing less production on federal land since he's taken office since 2007, even before he took office. He's talking about at-- he wants to create jobs here. Then why not-- why not build the Keystone Pipeline? Why not get the EPA and rein them back in? They're doing the exact opposite in D.C. of what we're doing here in Louisiana.
JIM CRAMER: Well, in terms of-- big projects that are in Louisiana-- we've had Sharif Sukio on a lot. Now he is from Shaner. That looks like one of the biggest projects I've ever seen. What's the cooperation there with what he's doing and be able to export the-- excess natural gas we have?
GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL: You know, there's over $30 billion in already approved, in proposed L and G facilities for Lake Charles alone. Talk about thousands of construction jobs, great permanent jobs. Look, I think it's great. I think we're going to be able to stimulate more exploration work in the Haynesville, Shale area up in North-- West Louisiana.
I think we'll have more than enough natural gas for the petrochemical company. You know what's interesting for years we used to export fertilizer out of this country. Then we became an importer. Now the natural gas prices, we're seeing fertilizer plants reopen up and down the river. You're seeing not only companies like Nucor, Benteler Steels investing in this state, I think the Shale revolution has not only lowered energy prices, it's bringing good paying manufacturing jobs back to America. And that's something that benefits-- I don't care if you live in Texas, North Dakota, Louisiana. If you're in the Midwest, you should care about this. These are good paying, blue collar manufacturing jobs.
JIM CRAMER: Well, something you and I-- are-- I've heard you speak many times and I know we're in very much of agreement. Right now, it seems like the situation in our country is there's a big cohort that doesn't like fossil fuels.
So what we do is we-- allow other countries to take advantage of our own energy. And basically we're exporting jobs to them. We're importing their product. It's not really working because they are-- it's global warming. Means it comes from China to L.A.
GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL: Well, look, this administration's been very clear. They don't like pipelines. They don't like new refineries. They don't like new exploration. They want energy to be expensive. They like subsidizing through crony capitalism, expensive forms of energy. The first-- this administration's first energy secretary openly talked about wanting gasoline to be expensive.
I want energy to be cheap, affordable. I want to drive those manufacturing jobs here. You're right, we're going to make products. The question is, do we make the steel and the fertilizer? Do we make those petrochemical products here in America? Or do we make them overseas? I'd rather make them here. Not in China, not in Brazil. Let's make them in America.
JIM CRAMER: Now we talk a lot about minimum wage. The kind of jobs that you're talking about where you're working with educational institutions and with companies, they're producing jobs that can actually do more than just put a meal on a table.
GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL: Well, look, Nucor, $70,000 a year. We're talking about good paying jobs. A lot of these jobs don't even require four-year degrees. In our state-- the state we're proposing a huge increase for higher education. Part of that's $40 million for our universities to work with employers to train the kids for the good paying, fast growing jobs out there. These are the kinds of jobs we want our kids to have. They have benefits, they're careers. These aren't minimum wage jobs. These aren't government jobs. These are good paying jobs where you can raise a family. These are careers.
JIM CRAMER: Now how about right around here where we're looking at? There's field that have been left for dead. New technology making them come to life. A lot of jobs being created?
GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL: Absolutely. You're seeing not only in the shallow Gulf. Obviously there's a lot of great work happening in the deep-- shelf. I mean, we've got companies pushing the boundaries and doing great exploration work. Shell just had an exciting announcement recently.
But closer in on the shelf, you've got fields that were thought to be tapped out. You've got onshore fields. You've got companies that are going there, creating jobs, creating more energy. What it shows is American ingenuity and innovation still works.
You know, in D.C., they see limits, we see opportunity here. We're seeing some of the latest technology. You look at what's happening, my first year as governor, you had double digit prices for natural gas. Now you're seeing a dramatic fall because they took new energy to known reserves and were able to bring that out of the ground at a very affordable price.
JIM CRAMER: Now-- we talk about the countries that are no longer competitive versus us. When I speak to Nucor, for instance, the steel industry in Korea had been an amazing industry. But their natural gas cost is so great, so high that the U.S. has such competitive advantage. There've got to be -- countries with companies that are coming here that would normally have stayed over there.
GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL: Look, Sasol, South Africa--
JIM CRAMER: Sasol, great example.
GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL: --over $20 billion investment in-- proposed in the Southwest Louisiana. You got –EuroChem a Russian-- European-- fertilizer company, over $1 billion investment in our country. You've got Benteler Steel, hundreds of millions of dollars in the steel facility.
Europe has got an oil-based petrochemical industry. Ours is natural gas based for a feed stock. Not just for utility prices. As a feed stock, we have a huge ad-- a structural advantage. You see why we're taking jobs back from Asia, back from Europe. In part, you're seeing the labor cost no longer the big differential because of our productivity. But you're also seeing this built-in advantage because of energy.
And because of that, we can bring good jobs back from overseas. This is a once in a generational opportunity. I think we've got to build things in this country. We have to have a diversified economy. Can't be all service-sector based. And we're doing that right now. We're doing it in Louisiana. We can do that across the country.
We've got 86,000 skilled construction job we got to fill in our state just for the job-- the projects we've already announced after 25 years of exploring our people. For the last six years in a row, we've had more people move into the state rather than leave the state. This could be happening across America. We're creating opportunities and good paying jobs. We could be doing this nationally. We just need government to get out of the away.
JIM CRAMER: Well, okay, so you've got the state under control. These-- sounds like things that maybe you should do nationally. But you-- any thought to running for president?
GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL: Well, look, let's win '14 first. Let's win the war of ideas. But energy's a big part of that war of ideas. One side is ideological, they want high energy prices. We want affordable energy. We want manufacturing jobs. It's not just ENP. It's manufacturing jobs as well.
JIM CRAMER: Governor, thank you so much.
GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL: Thank you very much.
JIM CRAMER: That's Bobby Jindal, the Governor of Louisiana, stay with us.