Tag Archives: Houston

Mirror Images: George and Cynthia

George Mitchell is known for perfecting the drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and for his pioneering work in sustainable development. Less well-known is his support for Big Science late in his life. As a boy growing up … Continue reading

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`We can do a better job’

George Mitchell didn’t set out to build a better city or redefine the American suburb. Having made some money in the energy business, he began buying real estate to diversify his interests. But he also became increasingly aware of social … Continue reading

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What the frack?

One of the unexpected controversies I encountered in writing my biography of Houston energy pioneer George Mitchell was the spelling of “fracking.” Many of the oil and gas sources I interviewed for the book insisted that spelling the word with … Continue reading

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Tennis, everyone!

Anyone who worked for George Mitchell knew of his obsession with tennis. Mitchell taught himself to play as a boy in Galveston, and he was captain of the tennis team at Texas A&M. As CEO of Mitchell Energy and Development, … Continue reading

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Fracking’s Graceland

It doesn’t look like the starting point for a revolution, but this well, the C.W. Slay #1, is where America’s energy renaissance began. The C.W. Slay #1 was the first well drilled into the Barnett Shale in 1981 by Mitchell … Continue reading

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What Happens When a Houston Energy Guru Messes With the Power Grid?

Russell Gold, The Wall Street Journal’s pre-eminent energy reporter, has a new book about Houston wind energy pioneer Michael Skelly and his efforts to modernize the power grid. I reviewed Superpower: One Man’s Quest to Transform American Energy, on the Texas Monthly … Continue reading

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A Post-Chronicle memory

In a post on her Gray Matters site, the Houston Chronicle’s Lisa Gray has used the announcement that the paper is moving to the old Houston Post building to collect memories about the Post from former staffers and others. I have never … Continue reading

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Fire Fight: Houston’s pension battle heats up

My column in the latest issue of Texas Monthly discusses the battle between Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund. Parker has sued the pension fund twice, seeking to give the city more say over the … Continue reading

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“Mr. President, you can’t say Dallas does not love you!”

A few weeks ago, I got an email from Anthony Pizzitola, a Houston autograph collector. With the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination coming up, he wanted to share a particular item from his collection with me. I wrote about … Continue reading

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The Feds and Fracking: A Chicken or Egg Question

My story on Houston oilman George P. Mitchell in the latest issue of Texas Monthly is still behind the paywall, but a sidebar I wrote on the role of the federal government in developing hydraulic fracturing technology is now posted on … Continue reading

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