What’s the expert economist’s forecast for U.S. oil and natural gas demand and future prices? Dr. Nariman Behravesh, chief economist for IHS Global Insight, discusses this and more in an interview with Oil and Gas Investor executive editor Nissa Darbonne.

Behravesh says oil and gas prices will remain very soft through 2009 and will begin to shift upward in 2010. Proposed U.S. energy policy will give a boost to natural gas demand, he adds.

Is the current U.S. economic crisis Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s fault? Behravesh says it isn’t and that former chairman Alan Greenspan was too great an economic cheerleader, leading it into excess. Examples are the tech boom/bust and the housing boom/bust. Greenspan held interest rates too low for too long, he says, and was too lax in regulating the banking industry.

Yet, the U.S. experienced 20 years of economic expansion under Greenspan. Should America bring back the cheerleader? No, says Behravesh, that won’t correct the situation.

Click through for the tape of his comments.

–Nissa Darbonne (ndarbonne@hartenergy.com), Executive Editor, Oil and Gas Investor, A&D Watch, Oil and Gas Investor This Week, OilandGasInvestor.com Today, OilandGasInvestor.com, A-Dcenter.com, UGcenter.com.