#1: Oil and Gas Industry — Pct. negative rating: 61%
Nearly two-thirds of Americans have a negative overall view of the oil and gas industry, falling below the U.S. government in the eyes of the public. In 2011, ACSI gave gas stations a score of 74, which placed it 11th from the bottom out of 48 industries. At the time of the 2012 Gallup survey, gasoline prices were on the rise. Plus, as Newport pointed out, people have to deal with the oil and gas industry every day when they put gas in their car “and they see prices inexplicably zoom up, and they’re not sure why.”
Increasingly high revenues and government tax breaks may be one explanation for the oil and gas industry’s poor public image. The Gallup report also suggests that some Americans believe the industry has a poor environmental record, which is not always confined to events off-shore or abroad. A fire broke out at one of Chevron’s oil refinery in Richmond, California on Aug. 6, resulting in thousands of emergency room visits and potentially harmful exposure to toxic fumes. Accidents like than can only harm the industry’s image.
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