1977, Autumn, Article, “The Energy Connection,” Property Journal: “I believe that our American free enterprise democracy is rooted in the ownership of private property. Within the world we are unique, for it is only in America that so many private citizens and institutions are rooted so deeply through the private ownership of property to the center of the earth (and all that can be produced from below the depth of a plough)…The private ownership of property and the energy resources produced from America’s private lands maintain the connection of our economic system with our resources; it is this relationship that nourishes the free enterprise portion of our free enterprise democracy.”
2009, from Hefner’s book The Grand Energy Transition published by John Wiley & Sons: “In the United States, where the use of natgas first became a large part of an energy market, there were two related factors that played a large role in the politics of cheap natural gas. One was the private ownership of mineral rights, which over the past 100 years motivated thousands of individuals and companies to seek their fortune by taking risks to find oil. And lots of oil and gas was found.”
2012, April 9, Harvard University Speech on U.S. Shale Gas Development: “The biggest thing that is going to make it more difficult for the rest of the world to have the same kind of shale gas potential that we have is not because the gas isn’t there, in many places, yes, indeed it is there, but the biggest difference is in the United States we own the mineral rights. The landowners own the mineral rights, and so American wildcatters can lease from the landowners and we’re all entrepreneurs and we’re all innovators, and that’s what makes America different, particularly in the gas and oil industry, than any other place in the world. And that’s what brought the shale gas revolution to the world. It wasn’t large international oil companies, not one of them did any of it. It was all of us that are in the independent sector innovating every day to try to make a buck, and you can’t do that in China.”
2012, April 18, E Street Landmark Theatre, Washington, D.C.: “I’d like to say something about the United States a lot of people don’t usually think about all the time. The development of shale gas could have only happened in the United States. Why? Because the large international oil companies were never going to do this. That was not their business. Their business was supply the world with oil and although some of them are based here, they were overseas; we finished with our oil in this country starting in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. They moved offshore; they’ve been at it ever since. That’s where the capital investments have gone. And so who would do it? It had to be a bunch of independents like George Mitchell and others who were ready to compete and figure out how to innovate. And why did they do it? Because the United States is really the only country in the world where landowners own their mineral rights and they can make deals and they can sell their leases and people will buy those leases and they’ll drill wells. So that could only come together in the United States and that’s what created the great innovation, which is shale gas and now oil, shale oil.”
via The GET.