Senator David Vitter is preparing to outline a plan to maintain Louisiana’s leadership in the U.S. energy industry.  As part of his gubernatorial campaign, he hosted a leadership forum in Lafayette today with 25 oil and gas industry professionals.

"We need to improve out litigation environment," Vitter said of challenges facing the state's energy industry. "We can streamline our regulatory environment with the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Natural Resources."

Vitter also mentioned some tax issues are causing challenges to further developing the energy industry. In particular, he mentioned eyeing severance tax issues as a solution.

Vitter said the leadership forums, like he held today at Lafayette's LITE Center, are helping to make him more aware of the state’s challenges as he runs for governor. He will hold seven more forums around the state that will focus on unique issues to each area he visits. Vitter teamed up with Rep. Charles Boustany this afternoon for another policy forum in Lake Charles that also focused on energy industry policy.

He said his next forum stop on his campaign trail will be in New Orleans to talk about the Metro area's crime issues.