Barack Obama has been sworn in as president of the United States, promising to bring hope and change to the office and country. A good chunk of the country wanted someone different, but let's let him catch his breath before we start complaining about the things he's not doing for us. Now is the time to celebrate. But can we expect hope and change in the energy sector as well? We enter this new era with oil prices still below $40, a shaky economy and massive layoffs in the oilfield services industry. It's a scary time when even well-respected E&Ps like Delta Petroleum and Edge Petroleum face capital issues. Some are claiming that it's 1982 all over again. Others are predicting worse. But, it is not the end of the world. Americans perservere, as we always do, and we can expect worldwide production to start getting better, not worse in the near future. 2009 will be a tough year, but a survivable one. Oil prices jumped up more that $4 today, perhaps a sign of future prosperity to come. Belts have been tighted but not cut off. Unemployment, while at a 15-year high of 7.2%, is still below the post-Depression high mark of 10.8% in late 1982. Have we hit rock bottom? No my friend, we have not. So, can we still turn this around and keep the energy business solvent? Can we still expect hope and change for the industry? Yes we can. –Stephen Payne, Editor, Oil and Gas Investor This Week; www.OilandGasInvestor.com; spayne@hartenergy.com