After 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. He did more than any other individual since John D. Rockefeller to alter the economics of oil. 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 and highlighting the significance of his discoveries and 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. He pursued its use for seventeen years to save his company and inadvertently unleashed an era of energy abundance transformed America being dependent on foreign oil to being one of the world's biggest producers of oil and natural gas. Anyone
Later, Mitchell worried about how the industry would handle his innovations-drilling without regard for the environment or the communities in which they operated. His concern for communities was genuine. 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. Mitchell himself seemed at ease with these conflicting ideas, perhaps because for his entire life he had always been a quiet contrarian.
*Published by: Texas A&M University Press
T. Boone Pickens
Loren Steffy is the author of five books of nonfiction: Deconstructed: An Insider's View of Illegal Immigration and the Building Trades (with Stan Marek); The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens (with Chrysta Castañeda); George P. Mitchell: Fracking, Sustainability, and an Unorthodox Quest to Save the Planet; The Man Who Thought Like a Ship; and Drowning in Oil: BP and the Reckless Pursuit of Profit." He is also the author of a novel, The Big Empty, which combines a sweeping appreciation for history and the struggles of small-town America with an examination of technology and the social and economic changes that come about when the two meet head to head.
Steffy is also a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly and a managing director for the communications firm 30 Point Strategies, where he heads the 30 Point Press publishing imprint. He is the founder of his own imprint, Stoney Creek Publishing, a company committed to stories and narratives from unique voices. Stoney Creek has an award-winning team of editors and designers who are committed to producing high-quality books in less time and with fewer hurdles than traditional publishing.
He writes a regular blog, Loren Steffy's Writings and Ramblings, which can be viewed through his website at www.lorensteffy.com. He has appeared on CNBC, Fox Business, MSNBC, the BBC and the PBS NewsHour, and is regular guest on local television and radio news programs in Houston.
Prior to his current positions, Steffy was the business columnist for the Houston Chronicle for nine years and his writing has been published in newspapers and other publications nationwide.
Before joining the Chronicle, Steffy was the Dallas bureau chief and a senior writer for Bloomberg News for twelve years. He covered a variety of business topics in Texas and across the country, including the collapse of Enron. His reporting on the demise of Arthur Andersen was selected for the 2003 edition of the "Best Business Stories of the Year." Before joining Bloomberg, Steffy worked at the Dallas Times Herald, the Dallas Business Journal and the Arlington Daily News.
Steffy holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. He and his wife, Laura, live in Wimberley, Texas, and share their home with 3 rescue dogs and an ungrateful cat.