EAST PEORIA, Ill. (AP) –  Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman says he was just trying to start a dialogue when he wrote a letter to Gov. Pat Quinn about other states’ efforts to lure his company out of Illinois.

Both Quinn and Oberhelman are in East Peoria Tuesday for a conference where Quinn’s accepting an award for sustainability.

Oberhelman says he wrote the letter after a trip to Hong Kong, where employees questioned Illinois’ business climate.

Quinn told a crowd of more than 400 at the conference Tuesday that he understands Illinois still has much to accomplish when it comes to fixing its image and economy.

In his letter to Quinn, Oberhelman said several states attempted to land Peoria-based Caterpillar after Illinois raised income taxes.

But he says the letter wasn’t a threat to move.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press


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