Members of LOGA, the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association opened their annual meeting yesterday in Lake Charles. As you might imagine the tone of this year's gathering was quite different than the tone of previous year's meetings.

Vice President of LOGA, Gifford Briggs, told the Louisiana Radio Network that he and the members of the association are optimistic that prices in the oil patch will rebound.

But certainly people are also making the decisions they need to make right now given the environment that we're in. We all hope that we've hit the bottom but only time will tell.

Today's meeting highlights will feature an address this morning by Governor John Bel Edwards. Also scheduled to address the gathering are two candidates for the United States Senate. Congressman Charles Boustany and State Treasurer John  Kennedy are both expected to address the industry gathering later today.

Briggs suggested in his comments that many of the oil industry professionals are quite interested to hear what Governor Edwards has to say concerning his plan to raise taxes on the oil and gas business.

We've got some unique budget challenges in our state, and I think our attendees want to hear what the governor has to say.

There is a strong concern among the industry that an increase in taxes on oil and gas producers and support companies could seriously impact the business climate in the state. This extra burden on oil and gas companies combined with low prices for oil could make Governor Edward's plan a rather hard sell in the oil patch.