“We are in a battle for the truth,” said Amy Hemingway, executive vice president and group head for energy at Edelman, without hyperbole. “In a world where people are searching for the truth, there’s a real thirst for those who can convey the facts in the right way, and if you don’t, others will fill the void.”

Hemingway, who moderated a separate panel on public perception, discussed her company’s studies on public trust. Gloomy conclusion: the oil and gas industry could use a lot more of it.

Even natural gas, taken for granted as a win by many in the industry because of its lower greenhouse gas emissions relative to oil and coal, is viewed with suspicion. Edelman’s natural gas industry perceptions report, released in June, showed that only 58% of the U.S. informed public felt trust in the industry. The percentage was 55% for the general population.

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