George P. Mitchell, the son of Greek immigrants who grew up and still lives on Galveston Island and is best known as the “father of fracking,” was honored with a resolution on the House floor Monday that drew a very rare visit to the chamber by Gov. Rick Perry.
“This man is beyond visionary,” said the governor, speaking before the House. “He is an individual who had the courage of his convictions and the ability to look out over the horizon and see the future. Our children are going to live better, more prosperous lives because of the work George Mitchell did in the world of hydraulic fracturing.
“This is a man who looks in the mirror every morning and there is no question that he has made a huge contribution to our world, so today I wanted to join you in collectively saying thank you to one of the great Texans, not just of our lifetime but in the history of the state.”
Mitchell, who turns 94 on May 21, is not in good health and was not present, but his daughter, Sheridan Lorenz, one of his 10 children, read a statement of thanks from her father.
“Shale development if done in a responsible manner can produce cleaner and more secure energy resources and economic opportunity for generations to come,” said Lorenz, reading the statement, which also emphasized the commitment of the family’s foundation to clean energy, renewable energy, sustainability and energy efficiency.
Marilu Hastings, director of environment programs for The Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation, which annually makes about $4.5 million in grants, said it was the foundation’s belief that “we can have clean energy and economic growth and environmental protection at the same time. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive.”