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Conversation: Can Lafayette thrive beyond oil?

Since the oil bust of 2014, the Lafayette metro area has lost thousands of jobs. While US oil production has soared to record highs, Lafayette’s oil industry remains stuck in the mud, a victim of market and political forces beyond its control — a leaky balloon with no way to plug the holes.

Lafayette’s economy has diversified since the devastating crash of the 1980s, so the economic fallout hasn’t been quite as sharply felt. But there’s little hope that Lafayette’s oil industry will regain the ground lost.

So what comes next? Are we optimistic about the future? Are we diversified enough? How can the jobs we’re losing be replaced?

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