George P. Mitchell, Volume 26: Fracking, Sustainability, and an Unorthodox Quest to Save the Planet

Loren C. Steffy (Author)


Upon George Mitchell's death in 2013, The Economist proclaimed, "Few businesspeople have done as much to change the world as George Mitchell," a billionaire Texas oilman who defied the stereotypical swagger so identified with that industry. In George P. Mitchell: Fracking, Sustainability, and an Unorthodox Quest to Save the Planet, award-winning author Loren C. Steffy offers the first definitive biography of Mitchell, placing his life and legacy in a global context, from the significance of his discoveries to the lingering controversies they inspired.

Mitchell will forever be known as "the father of fracking," but he didn't invent the drilling process; he perfected it and made it profitable, one of many varied ventures he pursued for years. Long before his company ever fracked a well, he pioneered sustainable development by creating The Woodlands, near Houston, one of the first and most successful master-planned communities. Its focus on environmental protection and livability redefined the American suburb. This apparent contradiction between his energy interests and environmental pursuits, which his son Todd dubbed "the Mitchell Paradox," was just one of many that defined Mitchell's life.

Anyone who puts fuel in a tank or turns on a light switch has benefited from Mitchell's efforts. This compelling biography reveals Mitchell as a modern renaissance man who sought to make the world a better, more livable place, a man whose unbounded intellectual curiosity led him to support a wide range of interests in business, science, and philanthropy.

Product Details

$30.00  $27.60
Texas A&M University Press
Publish Date
September 30, 2019
6.3 X 1.2 X 9.5 inches | 1.45 pounds

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About the Author

LOREN C. STEFFY is the author of Drowning in Oil: BP and the Reckless Pursuit of Profit and The Man Who Thought Like a Ship. A former business columnist for the Houston Chronicle and a four-time finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism, Steffy is a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly. He has appeared on CNBC, Fox Business, MSNBC, the BBC, and the PBS Newshour.


"In the rich history of America's oil and gas industry, there are some truly transformative figures, and George Mitchell is one of them. Because of his innovative spirit, America will remain one of the great energy super powers for decades to come. Loren Steffy is a respected journalist who captures his spirit and legacy in great detail." --T. Boone Pickens--T. Boone Pickens
"Loren Steffy brings a reporter's practiced eye and an all-too-rare even handedness to the rich story of George Mitchell's life. Famed as the pioneer of fracking, Steffy also chronicles Mitchell the sustainable community developer and the intricacies of his character that made this combination possible. Readers will be rewarded with a deeper understanding of the fracking revolution, why Houston both attracts and repels as a city, and what a life 'well lived' looks like today."--Stephen Arbogast, Director, Kenan Flagler Energy Center University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill--Stephen Arbogast