How a goat-farming immigrant changed everything
Huntsman Professor William F. Shughart II, J. Fish Smith Professor in
Public Choice, wrote this editorial about George Mitchell that was posted in USA Today on Aug.
In the dozens of articles and obituaries written about George Mitchell, who died late last month at 94, the Texas oilman, entrepreneur and philanthropist was remembered mostly as the "father of the fracking boom," whose innovations led to the shale-gas revolution.
But Mitchell was much more than that. Thanks to his innovative genius, the United States will soon become the world's leading producer of natural gas and by 2017 could be the leading producer of crude oil as well. In short, Mitchell – not to be confused with the former Senator from Maine – should be remembered as the individual who fulfilled the elusive promise of U.S. energy independence.