The rise [in shale gas] has been helped along by a variety of factors.... But the biggest difference was down to the efforts of one man: George Mitchell, ...who saw the potential for improving a known technology, fracking, to get at the gas. Big oil and gas companies were interested in shale gas but could not make the breakthrough in fracking to get the gas to flow. Mr Mitchell spent ten years and $6m to crack the problem (surely the best-spent development money in the history of gas). Everyone, he said, told him he was just wasting his time and money.–The Economist, July 2013