The oil and gas industry isn’t exactly beloved in America, but they are getting a lot more love these days than in years past. Since 2010 approval of “big oil” is up 14 percentage points, from 20 percent to 34 percent according to Gallup.
“Ratings have improved as the average price of gas in August has declined more than $1 per gallon since 2012,” reports Gallup which really seems to be stretching to find a cause-and-effect relationship with gas prices, but I suspect politics plays a bigger part.
During the George W. Bush administration, particularly after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, “big oil” was a big part of the anti-war argument. Remember all that “no war for oil” stuff? I won’t say that gas prices have no impact, but people are always upset about gas prices. I think the left worked really hard to tie “big oil” around President Bush’s neck, and that had an impact on the way the industry was perceived.
And presidential politics is probably the reason why perceptions of the oil and gas industry are on the rise too. The shale oil and gas boom under the Obama administration has brought a lot of prosperity to a lot of different parts to the country, even as the federal government under Obama has been largely hostile to that development.
That has likely created some sympathy and goodwill for the industry.
And some ill will for the feds, apparently. Again, from Gallup:
The federal government is the lowest-rated industry or sector, as it has been now for three of the last five years, including 2011 and 2014. Twenty-five percent of Americans view the federal government positively and 54% negatively. It is the only industry or sector that currently has majority negative ratings.
Here is the full ranking of industries: