Canadians trust professors most and politicians least on energy issues and pipelines: survey – by Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post – June 8, 2017)

CALGARY – As Canadians debate the merits of controversial west- and east-bound pipelines, a new study from Canada’s largest oil and gas industry group shows people trust university professors, their neighbours and environmental activists more than journalists and leaders of energy companies with information about oil and gas.

“Clearly there is a bias to the white lab coat, the person who is the thoughtful, independent researcher,” Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers’ vice-president, communications Jeff Gaulin said.

CAPP released the results of a wide-ranging survey Wednesday, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, that showed respondents’ attitudes toward various forms of energy, countries that produce energy, and the trustworthiness of energy information sources.

The study showed respondents from around the world placed the most trust in oil and gas information from university professors, with 69 per cent of respondents trusting them, 59 per cent feel the same way about scientists and engineers at oil and gas companies, while 56 per cent considered environmental activists trustworthy.

The results demonstrate how Canadians evaluate information amid debates about pipelines like Kinder Morgan’s $7.4-billion Trans Mountain expansion project or TransCanada Corp.’s Energy East project between Alberta and New Brunswick, Mount Royal University political science professor Duane Brat said.

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