As I said the other day, the main stream media was finally waking up to the fact that ethanol is not going to be a miracle solution to our country's energy needs. While it can play an important role, no doubt, it's not going to be the magical replacement for oil, and what's more, it has proven to be much more polluting that natural gas, which is relatively cleaner. In the same speech at the Developing Unconventional Gas conference, Larry Nichols went on to describe how what befell the Alberta economy could soon affect the U.S. as well. Energy reform is big issue for the 2008 Presidential election, and Nichols warns that the three major candidates are running on platforms that sound eerily familiar. On Halloween 2006, the Alberta government played a nasty trick on Canadian oil and gas production by announcing that there would be a change in tax regime for energy trusts. The excuse for this change was that energy trusts were tax shelters, oil prices were high and energy companies were getting too rich without contributing anything back to the community, such as investing in alternative energies. Never mind the fact that Alberta had surplus cash and a growing economy. Following the announcement, production equipment in the province began to move elsewhere, with companies seeking their fortunes instead in neighboring provinces Saskatchewan and British Columbia and even south of the border in the U.S. The Alberta government's response? Shock and amazement. They had no idea this would happen. But most of the energy community did. But that same drumbeat is beginning to be played in the U.S. as well. Nichols warns the Presidential candidates, especially Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, are running on campaigns promising to make big oil companies pay for raking in record profits while gasoline prices promise to jump to $4 per gallon, and will pass laws requiring more profits to be allocated to researching alternative energy. He says the U.S. could face a situation similar to Alberta, with investors pulling up the stakes and running elsewhere. Really, such campaign promises are just populist rants, designed to play into the common person's inherent dislike of oil companies, especially in a time of increased prices. –Stephen Payne, Editor, Oil and Gas Investor This Week;