Economic incubator pumps up Galveston entrepreneurs

For the past six weeks, a group of 15 business owners has been meeting for an intensive, 15-week course aimed at giving entrepreneurs the knowledge to start, maintain and grow a business. Galveston Mortar Academy is an arm of a Cincinnati-based entrepreneurial incubator program called Mortar... Read More >

Permian Energy Development Lab kicks off community listening tour with goal of community members shaping the Lab’s plans

  ODESSA, TEXAS (Tuesday, April 2, 2024)—The Permian Energy Development Lab will host meetings today in Big Spring, Texas and Carlsbad, New Mexico (details here), kicking off a series of community-based gatherings across the Permian Basin. The purpose is to describe PEDL’s... Read More >

Galveston Cultural Arts District relaunches, led by Sarah Piel

  For years, Sarah Piel has applied her skills to organizing workshops and festivals, raising funds, and overseeing educational programs at The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston. Now, with the support of her peers at work and others in the downtown Galveston arts community, she is... Read More >

Permian Energy Development Lab inks vital advanced energy partnerships

Odessa, Texas—(February 13, 2024)—The Permian Energy Development Lab (PEDL) has signed separate memoranda of understanding with SOLARCYCLE, a solar panel recycling company, and ER Operating Company, the oil and gas division of the Dallas, Texas-based Roosevelt Family Office, known for... Read More >

The Woodlands: One of the most unique communities turns 50

George P. Mitchell, chairman of the board, Mitchell Energy & Development Corp., hosts the opening of The Woodlands, a town 28 miles north of Houston in Montgomery County. Joining him at the opening were US Rep Charles Wilson of Lufkin; Dr. Phillip Hoffman, University of Houston president; and... Read More >

Galveston council should support workforce housing effort

  The Galveston City Council should approve a simple resolution of support for Build Galveston’s efforts to ease a housing crisis that threatens to undermine the island economically and culturally. Build Galveston’s mission is to encourage and help finance development of... Read More >

Op/Ed: Billionaire-Built Cities Would Be Better Than Nothing

      A company backed by Silicon Valley’s most powerful investors, including the LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, assembled a land empire outside San Francisco and announced a bold vision to build a brand-new... Read More >

Workforce housing in Galveston gains momentum, financial backing

    An organization with a mission to encourage and help finance the development of housing that’s affordable to teachers, police, firefighters, and other professionals will seek a resolution of support from the city council next month. Build Galveston, a... Read More >

In Galveston, a New First Response to Mental Health Crises

After a neighbor called 911 on her, Melissa Perez explained to two responding police officers that she had cut the fire alarm wires to her southwest San Antonio apartment building because the FBI was using the system to spy on her. The cops asked her to walk over to their patrol cars, but instead... Read More >

George P. Mitchell family's other island

In the Galveston-Houston area, the indelible mark of the George P. Mitchell family is impossible to miss. The billionaire philanthropist, who died in 2013 at the age of 94, and his wife, the late Cynthia Woods Mitchell, dedicated their lives to transforming the community they loved. Their... Read More >

The Woodlands Launches Yearlong 50th Anniversary Celebration

THE WOODLANDS, Texas—The Woodlands, one of the most successful master-planned communities in the nation, today launched a yearlong celebration of festivities leading up to a grand celebration on October 19, 2024—exactly 50 years to the date of its official opening. Jim Carman,... Read More >

Opinion: Permian Basin talent pool can lead in carbon capture and storage R&D

The Permian Basin, which spans Southeast New Mexico and West Texas, has long been an energy powerhouse. For generations it has supplied much of America’s oil and gas. But beneath the familiar landscape of drilling rigs is an overlooked asset, something we’ve been fortunate to see up... Read More >

The Pavilion donates 101 arts books to celebrate the 101st anniversary of the birth of its namesake, Cynthia Woods Mitchell

In keeping with the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion's mission of enhancing an appreciation for the arts, the Pavilion is excited to announce the purchase and donation of one hundred and one arts-related books in celebration of the 101st anniversary of the birth of its namesake, Cynthia Woods... Read More >

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Commitment to Advancing Water Equity and Access for All

  WASHINGTON—At the Clinton Global Initiative 2023 Meeting in New York, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox announced that EPA is committing to address pressing water challenges in 1,500 disadvantaged communities across the country.... Read More >

EPA Brings on New Adviser to Guide Water Infrastructure Spending

The EPA’s water office has hired a top staffer at a Texas-based grantmaking foundation to help guide the deployment of some $55 billion in investments provided by the recent infrastructure law, according to Emily Warren Armitano, the incoming adviser. In her new role as senior adviser to the... Read More >

EPA brings on water expert, Hill aide

EPA is bolstering the agency's water program as it helps distribute billions of dollars under the infrastructure law.Emily Warren will be a senior adviser to EPA's Office of Water. She starts at the agency on Monday and will serve on a one-year Intergovernmental Personnel Act assignment.Warren comes... Read More >

Dr. Emily R. Warren named senior advisor to U.S. EPA

  Austin (August 24, 2023)—Dr. Emily R. Warren, the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation’s director, land conservation and water programs, has been named senior advisor to the Office of Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The one-year assignment, beginning... Read More >

UTPB shares in $1 million grant to advance energy

Decades of experience and expertise in energy production have made the Permian Basin not only a global source of energy but the source of know-how and technology to produce energy. Aiming to further develop that expertise and technology and help adapt it to a future of low-carbon or net-zero carbon... Read More >

Op/Ed: The case for Permian optimism

A recent national news article questioned Midland’s willingness to invest in itself. Instead of arguing with the author, I want to share why I’m more optimistic than ever about the Permian Basin’s future. In simple terms, the Permian Basin is poised to be a global force in the... Read More >

Geothermal’s Mitchell moment

Fervo Energy is feeling the heat. In this case, that’s not a bad thing for the Houston company, which said Wednesday its latest pilot project proves utility-scale renewable energy can be generated from intense heat thousands of feet below the earth’s surface, a process called... Read More >

University of Texas Permian Basin co-principal investigator in NSF grant

The University of Texas Permian Basin (UTPB) is part of a two-state (Texas and New Mexico), multi-institutional, $1 million planning grant award from The National Science Foundation (NSF) to strengthen research and support the implementation of technologies in the Permian Basin. The UTPB Texas... Read More >

The "Blank Slate Monument" celebrates Juneteenth in Galveston

Galveston (June 19, 2023)—Artist Kwame Akoto-Bamfo, the Nia Cultural Center's Sue Johnson, and the Juneteenth Legacy Project's Sam Collins discuss the significance of the “Blank Slate Monument,” an interactive sculpture paying tribute to African American history. The statue has... Read More >

Juneteenth: The History of a Holiday

On June 19, 1865, enslaved African Americans in Texas were told they were free. A century and a half later, people across the U.S. continue to celebrate the day, which is now a federal holiday. President Biden signed legislation in 2021 that made Juneteenth, which falls on June... Read More >

16 Houstonians are among the '50 most influential Texans' in Texas Monthly's new book

President Jimmy Carter and George P. Mitchell at The Woodlands Conference in the late 1970s. Inspired by Dennis Meadows, author of “Limits to Growth,” the series of seven conferences over a 28-year period addressed the issues of sustainable societies. The conference awarded The Mitchell... Read More >

Galveston deploys new strategies for mental health crises

  On an early morning in March, Galveston police responded to a call involving a woman experiencing a mental health crisis who had armed herself with a knife and barricaded herself in the restroom at her mother’s apartment. The response team intervened, got the woman to cooperate and... Read More >

Odessa College, UTPB part of NSF funding opportunity

The National Science Foundation has announced a funding award to lay the groundwork for a new regional innovation engine in the Texas and New Mexico Permian Basin. The grant funding—$1 million to cover a two-year period—is the first step toward a potential ten-year, $160M NSF... Read More >

Op-Ed: Awaken and let's fix our fine old house

My family roots in Texas date back to 1837, when the Lone Star State was the Republic of Texas. One of my fourth great-grandfathers, Joseph Thompson, registered to vote on Aug. 1, 1867 and reported he had been in Brazoria for 30 years. He was married to Martha Brooks, who, according to the 1880... Read More >

Grant accelerates the Permian Energy Development Lab's work

Midland College is one of several partners to share funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that will lay the groundwork for a new regional innovation engine in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico. The grant funding -- $1 million to cover a two-year period -- is the first step... Read More >

Galveston using teams to respond to mental health 911 emergencies

Transcribed from an audio news report The rising cost of living has been a rising source of stress for many people in Galveston. And mental health resources can be limited on the island compared to some places such as Houston. BJ Wagner is vice president of health and public safety for the Meadows... Read More >

National Science Foundation Awards $1M Grant to Permian Energy Development Lab

Odessa, Texas (May 11, 2023)—The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a funding award to lay the groundwork for a new regional innovation engine in the Texas and New Mexico Permian Basin. The grant funding—$1M to cover a two-year period—is the first step toward a potential... Read More >

Water market activity is increasing across Texas, resulting in greater environmental use of water supplies

San Antonio (May 9, 2023)—The Nature Conservancy in Texas (TNC Texas), in collaboration with the Texas Living Waters Project, released a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive analysis of thousands of transactions held through Texas’ water markets—a system of voluntary... Read More >

Galveston's mental health unit making a difference, officials say

The woman had tried to commit suicide Wednesday night. On Thursday afternoon, she was sitting in the alley behind a gas station at 44th Street and Broadway, thinking about trying again. She called 911 and asked for help. Unlike with such emergency calls in the past, this time a police... Read More >

Galveston launches mental health crisis response teams

Galveston (May 4, 2023)—Galveston city and county officials, in partnership with the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and other Galveston foundations announced the launch of a new program that improves 9-1-1 mental... Read More >

Why UT’s Office of Sustainability is necessary

The University of Texas' future lies in its ability to function sustainably as a university.  One office that actively facilitates a green transition through campus environmentalism initiatives is the Office of Sustainability.  Established in 2009, the Office is a central hub... Read More >

A month in, Galveston police mental health unit sees success

A month into its existence, members of Galveston Police Department’s first mental health unit already have received more than 47 calls and helped people most frequently seeking assistance, authorities said. Compassionate Open Access to Services & Treatment (COAST) launched March 13,... Read More >

Blank Slate Monumnet offers powerful experience

The Blank Slate Monument, currently on display at the Mary Moody Northen Plaza in Galveston, certainly offers more than what meets the eye. While the physical statue is compelling enough — a slave bound hand and foot supporting a Union Army soldier with a noose around his neck and... Read More >

George Mitchell’s foundation aims to usher in a new energy era in the Permian Basin

A clean energy future poses an existential threat to the Permian Basin, the prolific oil-producing region in West Texas that transformed the nation into a global energy powerhouse. It’s a problem that a new initiative from the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation aims to address. George... Read More >

Consortium introduces Permian Energy Development Lab

A new consortium is ready to take advantage of the Permian Basin’s vast expanse and position as center of the global energy economy to address energy challenges around the globe.The Permian Energy Development Lab was introduced this week at the University of Texas and is a project incubated by... Read More >

Regional collaboration will build on the Permian basin’s status for the global energy community

The Permian Energy Development Laboratory announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding among seven New Mexico and Texas universities, two national laboratories and a center for advanced energy research at UT Energy Week 2023. The MOU reflects a shared goal of conducting advanced energy... Read More >

Permian Basin To Be New Home to an Advanced Energy Research Lab

The prolific Permian Basin of southeast New Mexico and west Texas will soon be home to a new research lab focused on advancing energy research and deployment, educating the next generation of energy professionals, and supporting energy-intensive communities. The Permian Energy Development... Read More >

Sure, there are questions, but Galveston must act on housing

  There’s plenty of room to discuss, debate and argue about where Galveston might develop workforce housing and which organizations should head those efforts. There’s a lot less room for rational disagreement about whether the city, as in the whole... Read More >

Healthcare foundation acknowledges past and divests from tobacco

Margaret Waldock stopped cold when she saw the names of people enslaved by one of New Jersey’s most prominent business and political dynasties. The names — first names only, London, Susanna, Will, and 53 others — were in documents on display in Liberty Hall Museum, the ancestral... Read More >

The Permian Energy Development Lab unveiled

Introduced at the UT Energy Week panel discussion on Thursday at the University of Texas in Austin, an initiative called the Permian Energy Development Lab (PEDL) will address a broad scope of concerns, including the capture of carbon and its beneficial re-use and the management of methane and... Read More >

Op-Ed: A visit to the Juneteenth Legacy Project a revelation to me

  As I walked through the exhibit at the Juneteenth Legacy Project in Galveston, Texas and studied the history of the Juneteenth emancipation of slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865, I wondered why had I not learned this story before? Why is this story not in our American History book? Rather, my... Read More >

Column: Legendary oilman George Mitchell’s foundation keeps his iconoclastic spirit alive

Legendary oilman George Mitchell defied conventional wisdom and revolutionized Texas’s oil and gas industry decades ago with shale drilling. On Thursday, his philanthropic foundation plans another insurgency, transforming oilpatch workers into next-generation energy professionals. ... Read More >

How Meadows Is Diversifying Crisis Response in Texas

Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute is helping other municipalities launch teams that can respond to mental health crises and divert individuals experiencing episodes from jail. The mental health policy nonprofit is in the process of providing data and training to the City of Galveston, among... Read More >

In America, climate hawks and Big Oil alike cheer geothermal energy

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed by Congress last year, offers lots of federal subsidies for established low-carbon technologies, such as solar and wind, but it also attempts to give nascent ones a boost. Geothermal-energy enthusiasts point out that hot rocks can provide baseload power when there... Read More >

Report: Texas is the best place to lead hydrogen economy

All signs point to Texas leading the development of a hydrogen market, says one new report out of Rice University. The Baker Institute for Public Policy released a new report this week about the hydrogen economy and the role Texas will play in it. According to the experts, Texas’... Read More >

Geothermal energy may soon be viable in Texas—because of fracking

  LISTEN TO THE STORY>> Hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – has been a boon to the energy industry here in Texas, allowing energy producers to access oil and natural gas deep under the earth’s surface. It also comes with environmental risks, like air... Read More >

Texas has limitless supplies of this clean energy source but oil well fracking tech is the key

A few thousand feet below Texas’s sunbaked surface, sedimentary rock and gravel are superheated to hundreds of degrees by the earth’s magma.   Geothermal energy flows every minute of every day, and for decades scientists have searched for a way to harness it economically. A group... Read More >

Benefits, feasibility of geothermal energy in Texas examined in study

LISTEN TO THE STORY>> A new study examined the potential of geothermal energy in Texas. Geothermal, when heat is drawn from below the ground, requires drilling miles down into the earth. The heat comes largely from the core of the earth, which experts say is the same temperature as the... Read More >

Here’s why Texas is a geothermal energy ‘sleeping giant’

Texas is hot below ground and full of folks with oil and gas drilling expertise, so that makes it ripe for a geothermal energy boom, according to a new study from researchers at five Texas universities. Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin, Southern Methodist University, Rice... Read More >

Texas researchers push for geothermal's rise from obscurity

Geothermal energy has the potential to play an enormous role in Texas' decarbonization push but has been perplexingly ignored in energy transition strategies worldwide. A group of Texas researchers believes, however, that, with the help of the state's oil and gas industry, geothermal energy could... Read More >

Geothermal energy could be off-ramp for Texas oil

AUSTIN — Four years of drilling for energy deep underground would be enough to build Texas a carbon-free state electric grid, a new study by an alliance of state universities has found. The state’s flagship universities — including the University of Texas at Austin, Rice University... Read More >

Energy titans collaborate with the University of Texas' Energy Institute to solve most pressing global energy challenges

Austin (December 14, 2022)—The Energy Institute at The University of Texas at Austin and four of the globe’s largest energy companies have launched a new membership program that will advance science and create opportunities for energy community members and students. Chevron, Shell, and... Read More >

Editorial: Wind and solar aren't the enemy in Texas. Neither is natural gas.

State regulators appear poised to shun renewable energy in its energy market reforms. Some politicians in Texas, and their enabling cable news hosts, would like nothing better than for us all to think the oil companies are run by patriotic wildcatters donning 10-gallon hats and American flag pins... Read More >

Op-Ed: Clean water for Houston takes work

Life under a boil notice should make some basic priorities crystal clear. This week, after power failed at one of Houston’s three main water purification plants, more than 2 million Houstonians were under their third boil water notice in two years.Such notices, even if only for a handful of... Read More >

Sadly, “a day without water” is becoming all too common for Texans

For many Texans, “a day without water” is not an imagined experience—it’s just another day. Some communities have never had running water. For the rest of us, experiencing days without water has become the rule rather than the exception. The one-two punch of climate-driven... Read More >

Commentary: CGMF remembers Cynthia Woods Mitchell at 100

    The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of Cynthia Woods Mitchell on Saturday, presenting an opportunity to reflect on her contributions to our family and foundation. Cynthia was humble but was a force. She was... Read More >

The enduring legacy of Cynthia Woods Mitchell 

The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Cynthia Woods Mitchell on September 24, presenting an opportunity to reflect on her contributions to our family and foundation. Cynthia was humble—but was a force. She was dedicated to our family and... Read More >

The enduring legacy of Cynthia Woods Mitchell at 100

Austin (September 24, 2022)— The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Cynthia Woods Mitchell, presenting an opportunity to reflect on her contributions to her family and foundation and the remarkable life and legacy of a Texas icon, lover... Read More >

Commentary: Drought, growth, and the future of the Hill Country

On Thursday, June 9, the North Llano River stopped flowing. On August 4, the U.S. Drought Monitor showed 80 percent of the Texas Hill Country in exceptional drought. The Pedernales, Guadalupe and Frio Rivers are dry, and many other Texas rivers are heading toward zero flow. Ranchers... Read More >

Opinion: Energy-Rich Texas Should Love the Climate Bill

As you might expect, Texas’ two Republican senators aren’t fans of the anti-inflation law. Yet few states can gain as much from it as they can. Texas is known as an oil state but, more accurately, an energy state. Yes, it is the country’s largest oil (and gas) producer and the top... Read More >

Opinion: Climate bill alone won't halve U.S. emissions by 2030

The cheap cost of clean energy enables the country to make great strides. Further steps will be more expensive. Since the Senate’s passage of the Democrats’ massive climate bill, backslapping and congratulations have been the order of the day among environmentalists from... Read More >

Telescopes are seeing farther than ever before. What's philanthropy's role?

Last month, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) beamed back the first pictures from its vantage point in orbit around the sun, a comfortable 1 million miles from Earth. The new telescope has collected some amazing images (and other data) from deep space, showing more detail of the stars than ever... Read More >

Climate change hitting poor Texans the hardest, experts discuss ways to fix that

    As the temps rise, many Texans are using less energy because they feel “scared or broke”   The heat punishing Texans and people in other states is not going away in the years to come. But a roundtable of experts said today that what can be alleviated is the... Read More >

CGMF’s research briefing addresses the growing energy-affordability-poverty nexus in Texas

Austin (August 9, 2022)—Texas — the nation’s largest energy producer and consumer — is experiencing a succession of heat waves taxing the state’s electric grid and consumers’ wallets.  High temperatures are pushing electricity consumption to new heights every... Read More >

Synergos podcast features Katherine Lorenz on purpose-driven philanthropy

Katherine Lorenz, president, The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation New York (July 1, 2022)—Katherine Lorenz spoke to Synergos' host Melissa Durda about her personal and professional journey and how she brings inner work to outer action and the impact this creates in her role as CGMF's... Read More >

Galveston, the birthplace of Juneteenth, has been losing Black residents for decades

GALVESTON—Island natives don’t have to be told that their hometown has lost Black residents. Sharon Batiste Gillins sees it every time she goes to church. Leon Phillips feels it when he drives down Church Street, and sees vacant lots where Black-owned businesses used to be. Galveston is... Read More >

Community researchers call for equitable parks in Galveston

    Communities with green spaces tend to be healthier and that’s part of the reason Galveston ought to invest more in making public spaces accessible to all, a panel of experts said during a recent discussion. The online panel on June 7 was part of an... Read More >

Texas has paths to reach net zero by 2050 — report

AUSTIN—Texas could achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 via several different routes, according to an analysis — and each of those could boost the state’s gross domestic product. The report, released by the University of Texas in April, traces four different pathways toward... Read More >

Editorial: It's time for the state to step up on mental health care

Felicia Jeffery, center, CEO at the Gulf Coast Center, talks with Galveston Mayor Craig Brown about the availability of mental health beds on Thursday. A roundtable discussion was held including Galveston Police Chief Doug Balli, left, to announce the launch of a multi-disciplinary response team for... Read More >

Galveston celebrates new mental health unit, hurdles remain

Tony Fabelo, left, a senior fellow of justice policy at the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, moderates a roundtable discussion at Galveston City Hall. Galveston officials announced the launch of a multi-disciplinary response team to respond to 911 calls involving people with mental health or... Read More >

Galveston to introduce mental health response unit

GALVESTON—When someone calls 911 in Galveston, three services stand by to respond to the emergency — police, fire and emergency medical services.Under a new program scheduled to officially be announced today at city hall, a fourth option will be added — a unit dedicated to... Read More >

Galveston Island introduces an innovative health-first, paramedicine model to navigate behavioral 911 emergencies

Galveston, Texas  (June 2, 2022)— City of Galveston officials announced plans for a multi-disciplinary response team approach involving its city police, fire, and local mental health authorities, an innovative health-first model to respond to 911 emergency calls involving people with... Read More >

Texas Tribune announces regional newsroom expansion

AUSTIN, TEXAS—The Texas Tribune announced today that its newsroom will expand its award-winning coverage of Texas politics, public policy and the government with a regional reporting initiative. The Tribune’s new regional initiative will support original reporting from the East Texas,... Read More >

How the Texas economy can grow even if the state cuts carbon emissions to net-zero

  Good news, Texas: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions can help the state’s economy meet our needs and the desires of our investors and customers. Our research shows that decarbonizing is good for business and the environment. During the past 2 1/2 years, we... Read More >

Op-Ed: The credible case for George P. Mitchell’s version of a Mitchell Plan

Former Energy Secretary and Texas governor Rick Perry argued in a recent op-ed in The Hill (“Europe needs a Mitchell Plan, not a Marshall Plan,” April 1, 2022) that a so-called “Mitchell Plan” was necessary to ensure energy security for Europe. This as opposed to the Marshall... Read More >

Opinion: Europe needs a Mitchell Plan, not a Marshall plan

As President Biden looks to provide Europe with viable options for energy security and enable our allies to join a sanctions effort that would bring the Russian petrostate to its knees, he has summoned the spirit of America’s foremost pioneer of transatlantic relations, George C.... Read More >

Never again one year later: Texas grid is graded by expert

  AUSTIN, Texas — After 2021’s winter storm, a group of experts puts together a list of recommendations they thought would prevent another major power grid failure. Alison Silverstein, a consultant, strategist, and writer on electric transmission and... Read More >

Statement: Never Again One Year Later | A Reliability Report Card

  Austin (February 14, 2022)—Alison Silverstein, an author of last year’s “Never Again: How to Prevent Another Major Texas Electricity Failure,” has issued a report card (see below) on the first anniversary of Winter Storm Uri, grading the Public Utility Commission... Read More >

Texas' old-timey electric grid is not fixed, and politicians are propping it up

The Texas electric grid performed adequately during a routine cold snap, but if Texans mistakenly believe the grid is generating, delivering and financing electricity optimally, we’ll experience more blackouts. No one seriously thought that a dusting of ice and snow, with... Read More >

The Texas energy system faces a winter reckoning — again

    Texas political leaders say the state is ready to prevent another winter grid collapse. Energy experts disagree. As Texas approaches the anniversary of last February’s devastating week-long freeze-up of its energy system, one obvious question looms: Is the... Read More >

CGMF announces new dual leadership structure

Marilu Hastings, left, and Katherine Lorenz were named executive vice president and president, respectively, as part of a new dual leadership structure at the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation. AUSTIN (February 1, 2022)— The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation named Katherine Lorenz... Read More >

Oil and gas, energy companies form group to kickstart geothermal power in Texas

A new coalition of energy companies is looking to kickstart geothermal power production in Texas by analyzing the state's geothermal potential and demonstrating how the oil and gas industry can catalyze its birth. Announced earlier this month, the Texas Geothermal Energy Alliance is bringing... Read More >

Texas Geothermal Energy Alliance Launches

AUSTIN (January 13, 2022)—The newly-organized Texas Geothermal Energy Alliance (TxGEA), a Texas-led advocacy group created to advance geothermal energy in Texas, officially launched its operations.  TxGEA is a broad and interdisciplinary group of entities engaged in geothermal resource... Read More >

Texas-focused geothermal trade group launches with big energy backers

January 12, 2022 (Reuters)—A trade group seeking to promote geothermal energy in Texas will launch on Thursday with backing from large oil and utility firms seeking to transform their businesses. The Texas Geothermal Energy Alliance (TxGEA) was organized as many fossil fuel giants and startup... Read More >

Family Philanthropy Versus Climate Change: An Opportunity of a Lifetime and Beyond

At the United Nations’ COP26 conference in November 2021, President Biden said climate change is “an existential threat to human existence as we know it.” And qualitative and quantitative data support this claim. Climate hazards—driven by global greenhouse gas... Read More >

Opinion: If the oil and gas industry shrinks, what will that mean for Texas education funding? With the right economic policies, Texas can fill any funding gap with new industry.

    A shift from fossil fuel to low-carbon and renewable energy sources has been underway in the United States for the last 20 years. Accounting and preparing for this shift are essential in Texas since fossil fuel energy continues to be a significant share of... Read More >

Texas is losing groundwater at nearly 2x the maximum sustained rate

Out in the ghost town of Terlingua in remote West Texas, craggy mountains loom high in the distance, largely uninhabited save for a few houses dotting the hillside. But on a morning in late November, there was a change to this landscape, where a drilling rig cut into the horizon, spewing dark... Read More >

Texas officials order power plant operators to prepare for winter hazards

LISTEN TO THE STORY>> Nearly a year since the worst blackout in Texas history, the state has ordered power plants to better prepare for winter. But the changes so far won't be enough if there's another record freeze. DEBBIE ELLIOTT, HOST: It's been nearly a year since the worst... Read More >

Report: Future of groundwater pumping in Texas unsustainable

The future of water looks murky in the Lone Star State. Groundwater levels are declining in Texas, according to two reports published last week by Texas State University and Environmental Defense Fund. Seven of 20 aquifer systems analyzed in the state are being overpumped, and that number could... Read More >

Commentary: We're out of excuses; it's time to secure Texas Hill Country's fragile water resources

Here’s something we don’t get to say very often: It’s been a promising month for water in the Hill Country. With record sprawl pushing ever westward from I-35 and climate change threatening an age of Texan megadroughts, the water future of the Hill Country has looked increasingly... Read More >

Texas groundwater supplies are in danger, reports say

AUSTIN—(Nov. 16, 2021) Across Texas, groundwater is being pumped out of aquifers so quickly that more wells are in danger of going dry, and more springs and surface water may begin to dry up, according to reports released today. The reports—issued by researchers at The Meadows Center... Read More >

How Texans could bolster power grid and save money

Investing in programs that reduce Texans’ energy consumption could cut demand by the same amount of power expected to be generated by a proposed fleet of gas-fired power plants and cost almost 40 percent less, according to a new report. The findings from the American Council for an... Read More >

Editorial: Why the shock? GOP knew perfectly well industry would use loophole to avoid weatherization

The word of the day in the Lone Star State is “obsequious.” Its dictionary meaning is “servile obedience” or “excessive eagerness to please.” Here’s how to use it in a couple of sentences: “In a state that prides itself on rugged independence and... Read More >

Texans pay millions for units that can restart power grid, but some went out during freeze

It was probably the shakiest 4 minutes and 23 seconds the Texas power grid ever felt.During the frigid early morning hours of Feb. 15, as snow fell across Texas, cascading failures at power plants across the state led to power being cut to millions of Texans.Texas' grid operator, the Electric... Read More >

Randall Kempner to step down as president and CEO

  AUSTIN (August 16, 2021)—The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation (CGMF) announced that Randall Kempner will step down as president and CEO effective September 7. The decision was part of a mutual and amicable agreement between Kempner and the foundation’s board. CGMF’s... Read More >

Texas grapples with gas, grid failure behind winter blackout

Texas utilities' urgent actions to halt the frozen electric grid's slide toward statewide collapse Feb. 15 were undermined by a critical gap in information — they did not know whether they were inadvertently switching off gas systems supplying vital generating plants, according to utility... Read More >

Energy transition could create 1.1 million jobs in Texas, report says

The transition from fossil fuels to clean energy could create more than 1.1 million jobs in Texas over the next 25 years to build out wind and solar generation, upgrade transmission, improve energy efficiency and advance new technologies, according to a report released Monday by 27 labor unions. ... Read More >

Pat Wood helped create Texas’ electricity market, then he lost power for 36 hours in the freeze

This op-ed is part of a series published by The Dallas Morning News Opinion section to explore ideas and policies for strengthening electric reliability. Find the full series here: Keeping the Lights On. By 2030, Texas will likely get electricity from renewables 80% of the time. That’s... Read More >

A federal tax credit could incentivize (and accelerate) the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions

Austin (July 14, 2021)—A current federal tax credit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by storing carbon dioxide from industrial sources could be critical to help the U.S. reach end of decade carbon neutrality targets while yielding economic benefits, particularly on the Texas and Louisiana... Read More >

STATEMENT from former PUC of Texas Commissioners on ERCOT roadmap

Our group of former Public Utility Commission commissioners of Texas and senior staff have reviewed ERCOT’s roadmap and see it, together with recent legislation, as significant steps toward fixing the Texas Electric System. We applaud the Texas Legislature’s broad direction and grants... Read More >

Essay: A West Texas roadmap for mitigating the impact of energy development

  Wind turbines in the water off Block Island, R.I, the nation's first offshore wind farm. The Biden administration wants to know whether offshore wind companies want to move into the Gulf of Mexico. The Interior Department said last month that an agency overseeing offshore leases will... Read More >

The Future of Global Energy: Houston Well-Positioned to Serve as Net-Zero Hub

A globally-renowned expert on carbon capture said this week that Houston is ideally positioned to become a world-class, net-zero industrial hub thanks to the region's infrastructure, natural resources and talent.  Dr. Julio Friedmann, senior research scholar at the Center on Global Energy... Read More >

REPORT | Evaluating Net-Zero Industrial Hubs In the United States: A Case Study of Houston

HOUSTON (June 30, 2021)—As Congress deliberates a major infrastructure bill, the Center for Global Energy Policy at Columbia University has issued a key report on "net-zero industrial hubs" and how they can meet the twin goals of advancing energy infrastructure and reducing emissions to... Read More >

Analysis: The Texas electric grid and the improvements that didn’t come

Texas lawmakers passed major bills in response to the winter storm power outages that killed hundreds of Texans in February. But there’s still a lot to do. After the deadly and expensive electrical outages during a winter freeze in February, Texas lawmakers set out to... Read More >

[Opinion] We helped design ERCOT, here's how to prevent another major Texas electricity failure

  The Arctic weather system that hit the South Central United States in February 2021 led to the deaths of almost 200 Texans (many more by some estimates), extended power outages for two-thirds of Texas residents, residents, and caused more than $100 billion in damages to Texans’ homes... Read More >

Texas Is Pressed to Do More To Prepare for Power Collapse

A power substation in Waco, Texas, was surrounded by snow after a severe storm left millions in the dark in February. Texas needs to revamp the procurement of “black start” resources—the power generation that would be needed to jump start the grid in the event of a... Read More >

[OPINION] The future of renewable energy is playing out in West Texas

Click here to read at As the threat of COVID-19 subsides in the United States, the Biden administration is launching energy and land policies that have far-reaching economic, social and environmental implications. These new policies seek to reduce net greenhouse gas... Read More >

Texas Can Do More to Prevent Future Blackouts, Say Former PUC Commissioners

Austin (June 3, 2021)—Texas has more work to do to prevent the kinds of weather-driven blackouts that devastated the state in February 2021. That is the conclusion of Never Again: How to Prevent Another Major Texas Electricity Failure, a groundbreaking report issued today by five past Public... Read More >

FACT SHEET | Never Again: How to prevent another Texas electricity failure

Texas has more work to do to prevent the kinds of weather-driven blackouts that devastated the state in February 2021. That is the conclusion of Never Again: How to Prevent Another Major Texas Electricity Failure, a groundbreaking report issued today by five past Public Utility Commission of... Read More >

REPORT | Never Again: How to prevent another major Texas electricity failure

Authors: Pat Wood III (PUCT Chairman 1995-2001, FERC Chairman 2001-2005) Robert W. Gee (PUCT Chairman/Commissioner, 1991-1997) Judy Walsh (PUCT Commissioner 1995-2001) Brett Perlman (PUCT Commissioner 1999-2003) Becky Klein (PUCT Commissioner/Chairman 2001-2004) Alison Silverstein (PUCT... Read More >

Big Bend Coalition Maps Out 'Balanced' Plan for Energy Development in Far West Texas

Big Bend Coalition Maps Out ‘Balanced’ Plan For Energy Development In Far West Texas  A new report looks at ways that solar, wind and oil projects could move forward while protecting the region’s way of life. Listen to the 5:06 minute story on NPR's The Texas Standard,... Read More >

Respect Big Bend releases blueprint for sustainable energy development

Light pollution is seen in Jeff Davis County in this 2016 file photo. Respect Big Bend Coalition, formed to promote responsible and sustainable energy development in the Big Bend region and Tri-County area of Brewster, Jeff Davis and Presidio counties, has issued its report on energy development in... Read More >

Tomlinson: A West Texas road map for no-drama, sustainable energy development

Almost every new energy project — whether an oil well, wind farm, solar array or transmission line — seems to trigger an often-costly fight.Neighbors worry about groundwater, don’t want their view ruined or warn against threats to plants and animals. Residents pack community... Read More >

New Poll Shows 78% of Voters Support Federal Investment in Water Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, DC (April 29, 2021)—A new poll by the Value of Water Campaign released today shows that American voters’ support for increasing federal water infrastructure investment (78 percent) remains high, is bipartisan, and is on par with eliminating COVID-19 and strengthening the... Read More >

As cities struggle to meet climate goals, Houston aims for lead role in energy transition

In 2017, when former President Donald Trump announced he would pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, a little known group called the Climate Mayors — a network of city leaders with ambitious goals for mitigating climate change — had roughly 80 members. By the time... Read More >

Blackout aftermath: An end to Texas' renewable boom?

Wind turbines spin as a pump jack pulls up oil near Harrold, Texas, in this July 31, 2020, photo. Texas is the largest producer of wind energy in the United States.   After years of relentless growth, renewable energy in Texas is facing new pressures that threaten to slow the rise of an... Read More >

1870 Strand Corp. and hotelier Mark Wyant enter into agreement for Hotel Galvez & Spa

1870 Strand Corp., which is owned by the estate of the late George P. Mitchell, plans to contribute the majority of the Hotel Galvez's sale proceeds to the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation   GALVESTON (April 14, 2021)—1870 Strand Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitchell... Read More >

Texas should boost clean energy innovation, not discourage investors

Renewable energy met almost 40 percent of Texas’ electricity demand in March, and during some early morning hours this month, power was essentially free because the wind was blowing so hard, and demand was so low, according to grid data. Texas has more installed wind and solar capacity than... Read More >

Texas needs to take the lead on carbon capture, say Baker Institute experts

HOUSTON (Jan. 28, 2021)—Texas, with advantages in everything from its geology to its workforce, should become a leader in carbon capture, according to a new report from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. “Expanding Carbon Capture in Texas” provides a road... Read More >

Railroad Commissioner: Hear me out, President Biden. Don’t write off oil and gas.

As President Joe Biden took office, White House staff changed out photographs in hallways, newly appointed Cabinet members familiarized themselves with briefing materials and new stationery memorializing the arrival of the 46th president of the United States was printed. Change is everywhere in... Read More >

Solar offers out-of-work oil landmen place to rebuild

When oil prices crashed last year and work in the oil patch dried up, Jonathan Click found salvation in solar. For the previous 15 years, the Houston petroleum landman had been tracking down Texas land owners and mineral rights holders to help negotiate lease deals for oil and gas companies. But... Read More >

'It just makes sense': Harris County turns to renewable energy to power its buildings

When Adrian Garcia was Harris County sheriff, he wanted to rethink what kind of energy the jail used. Could the building have solar panels? Backup batteries? County leaders then didn’t embrace the idea, he said. Now a county commissioner, Garcia is pushing the county toward directly buying... Read More >

Op-ed: How Funders Can Support Clean, Reliable Water for All—not just the privileged

It’s time to redesign water systems in the United States to meet the needs of all people and communities—not just the privileged. Our present water system structure leaves many, particularly poor people, at risk of significant health and safety dangers. Today, amid a public health... Read More >

The transition from fossil fuel is an opportunity for Texas

Day One of the Joe Biden administration is only a few weeks away and so are a series of executive orders aimed at kick-starting the new president’s ambitious clean energy agenda as part of his promise to forcefully combat climate change. With the oil and gas industry making up about 30... Read More >

First round participants selected for Texas outcomes-based finance challenge—an environmental impact bond initiative

    Quantified Ventures, an outcomes-based capital firm focused on driving transformative health, social, and environmental impacts, has announced the three projects selected to participate in the first round of the Texas Outcomes-Based Finance Challenge, an environmental impact bond... Read More >

Republicans, Democrats finding common ground to fight climate change

Tucked into the spending measure President Donald Trump signed this week was the biggest energy bill in a decade, and a tacit admission by Republicans that the nation must do more to fight climate change.While Trump and GOP leaders may remain largely silent on humanity’s biggest challenge,... Read More >

Quantified Ventures Selects First Round of Environmental Projects in Texas Outcomes-Based Finance Challenge

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Three innovative proposals have been selected as first-round winners of the Texas Outcomes-Based Finance Challenge and will begin work with Quantified Ventures in 2021 to structure financial transactions that deliver nature-based, sustainable solutions to environmental and... Read More >

Study: Texans' views on climate, fracking undergo major shift

A new survey finds that public opinion in Texas is shifting on climate change, fracking, and energy policy. A substation in Beaumont, Texas, that was flooded after Hurricane Harvey is pictured. Entergy Texas Inc./Flickr Most people living in Texas — the heart of the nation's oil and gas... Read More >

Will Texas become ground zero for electric vehicles?

The push to clean up the world's energy sector to fight climate change has always presented an existential threat to oil and gas producing regions like Texas.Now in the midst of a radical downsizing of oil and gas industry, companies in the burgeoning electric vehicle industry are making the case... Read More >

Oil and gas job losses in Texas were even worse than reported

  The oil and gas industry in Texas lost more jobs than reported after the federal government revised its employment estimates.Nearly 60,000 oil drilling, production and services workers have lost their jobs between February and August, 20 percent higher than the 50,000 layoffs previously... Read More >

Oxy to shift into 'carbon management company'

Occidental Petroleum said Wednesday its plan to get to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century would rely heavily on direct air capture and carbon storage sites.In a detailed report, the Houston-based oil company said it would open its first commercial-scale carbon storage site and a... Read More >

Solar power booms in Texas

Wind power made Texas the leading renewable-energy producer in the U.S. Now solar is fast catching up. Invenergy LLC broke ground this year on a $1.6 billion solar farm northeast of Dallas that is expected to be the largest in the country upon completion in 2023. AT&T Inc. and... Read More >

Tax credit, environmental concerns may spur next generation of carbon capture projects

Oil, power and other heavy industries are proposing to build nearly three dozen carbon capture projects across the country over the next several years as advancing climate change and a generous tax credit provide incentives for companies to lower greenhouse gas emissions.The burst of proposals is a... Read More >

OP-ED: Disaster or deliverance? What Biden victory means for oil and gas.

In early March, I had a book signing at the Petroleum Club of Houston. The room was bathed in sunlight and the mood was jovial. A few jokes were made about how because of this new virus we shouldn’t shake hands, but we all did. Old habits, and all that. It would be my last in-person speaking... Read More >

Mitchell Foundation, Rice's Baker Institute seek collaborative pathways to increase carbon capture and storage in Texas

HOUSTON—The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation is funding a project at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy to identify policies and actions that will facilitate the capture and storage or use of carbon dioxide. The project, led by the Baker... Read More >

Mitchell L. Mathis Program for Environmental Water Economics established

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS—The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, in partnership with the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, has created the Mitchell L. Mathis Program for Environmental Water Economics... Read More >

How Circle of Blue investigated freshwater issues in Texas

While 70% of our planet’s surface is covered in water, only 3% of it is fresh water – and most of that is packed away in glaciers and polar ice caps, out of human reach. The limited freshwater resources that we do have access to — groundwater, lakes, rivers and ponds — are... Read More >

'Water, Texas' dives into what threatens the state's vital liquid resource

“Texas is going to have a significant confrontation between rising demand … and diminishing supplies.”Listen to the 5-minute interview between Keith Schneider, Circle of Blue's "Water, Texas" series' author, and The Texas Standard's host, David Brown, that aired on The Texas... Read More >

Circle of Blue publishes "Water, Texas"

The digital print and podcast series, to publish every Monday in August, reveals how the pandemic and an unlikely energy crisis are dramatically upending the Texas economy—and how water flows through every piece of the puzzle. Water, Texas is funded by a grant from the Cynthia and George... Read More >

Statement on racial equity

All of us at the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation are grieving with the friends, family, and communities of victims of police brutality and systemic injustice. George Floyd, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are just a few of the children, parents, and loved ones who have been... Read More >

Op-ed: White people must contribute to real emancipation

As a white woman, I haven’t experienced the fear and indignity of being treated as if I’m less human because of my skin color. I write this knowing that my perspective is limited and influenced by the accident of my skin color. I know that “white silence kills,” and I’m... Read More >

Op-ed: If COVID-19 and the lockdown aren’t enough to stop climate change, what is?

Much of our economy has come to a standstill. For the past month, millions have been out of work, and millions more have been cloistered in their homes. Chris Provost has been working in the oilfield since he was 17 years old. He said he’s taken a 55 percent pay cut, and he’s worried... Read More >

Texas Oil Port Hit by One-Two Punch: Falling Demand and Overproduction

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Ever since this Gulf Coast city’s leaders helped persuade the Obama administration and Congress to lift the export ban on liquid fossil fuels in 2015, the Port of Corpus Christi has been a steady tide of construction, creating nearly 10,000 permanent... Read More >

Earth Day 50th Anniversary Could Mark Turning Point For Texas Energy Sector

From Texas Standard: Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. When it was first celebrated in 1970, more than 20 million people took to the streets and that action spurred the passage of environmental laws and regulations that are still in effect today. Large gatherings aren’t... Read More >

Respect Big Bend Initiative Honored by former First Lady Laura Bush's Texan by Nature for Innovative Approach to Conservation

  AUSTIN (April 15, 2020)—Texan by Nature (TxN), a Texas-led conservation nonprofit recently announced that the Respect Big Bend Coalition has been named a 2020 Conservation Wrangler. Texan by Nature’s Conservation Wrangler program recognizes six innovative conservation project... Read More >

Mitchell foundation names new CEO

Galveston native Randall Kempner has been tapped as the new CEO of the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation. He will succeed Katherine Lorenz, the Mitchells' granddaughter, in August as part of a planned succession. He will be the first non-family member to serve as chief executive, the board of... Read More >

CGMF appoints Randall Kempner new chief executive officer; Marilu Hastings to chief innovation and strategy officer

AUSTIN (February 12, 2020)—Randall Kempner will become the CEO of the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation (CGMF) in August, succeeding Katherine Lorenz, the foundation’s board of directors announced today. The appointment represents the first non-family chief executive as part of a... Read More >

Boomtown | An 11-part Podcast Series

Record-breaking oil production in the Texas Permian Basin area has brought the energy boom to the greater Big Bend region's doorstep for the first time. Is it too late to save this pristine landscape? How can energy sprawl be adequately mitigated to empower stakeholders to conserve the unique... Read More >

The shale boom's spillover emissions

Speaking of climate, the Gulf Coast industrial facilities built to use surging oil and natural gas production from shale formations could become a very large source of greenhouse gas emissions, a peer-reviewed study concludes. Why it matters: The paper in Environmental... Read More >

Gulf Coast oil and gas expansion will generate half a billion annual tons of emissions in U.S.: report

Houston—Total annual emissions for oil, gas and petrochemical operations in Texas and Louisiana will add the equivalent of 131 coal-fired power plants in emissions, researchers estimate.More than half a billion tons of additional greenhouse gas emissions per year — equivalent to 8... Read More >

Climate Changed: Cheap Natural Gas Could Add 500 Million Tons to US Emissions -

  A liquefied natural gas export terminal stands under construction in Corpus Christi, Texas in 2018. Access to cheap natural gas has helped displace coal and cut greenhouse gas emissions. But it’s also incentivized a massive buildout of fossil-fuel infrastructure along the U.S.... Read More >

U.S. greenhouse gases to billow on Gulf Coast petrochemicals charge -study

HOUSTON, Jan 14, 2020 (Reuters) - A multi-billion dollar boom in petrochemical plants proposed along the U.S. Gulf Coast could pump as much greenhouse gas into the air as 131 coal-fired power plants by 2030, according to a study released on Tuesday by University of Texas researchers.The study... Read More >

Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation to Benefit From Property Sales

The Texas-based Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation has announced that it will receive the proceeds from a sale of historic properties on Galveston Island. Mitchell Historic Properties, which is owned by the estate of the late George P. Mitchell, has agreed to sell the Hotel... Read More >

'No ordinary transaction' | Texas firm to buy iconic Galveston Island properties

Cynthia and George Mitchell stroll in front of The Tremont House in Galveston, Texas. Mitchell Historic Properties reached an agreement to sell the landmark hotel, with a majority of proceeds to benefit the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation.  Mitchell Historic Properties has agreed to... Read More >

Mitchell estate sells landmark Galveston hotel properties

Cynthia and George Mitchell stroll in front of The Tremont House in Galveston, Texas. Mitchell Historic Properties reached an agreement to sell the landmark hotel, with a majority of proceeds to benefit the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation.  Mitchell Historic Properties, the Galveston... Read More >

Historic Galveston Island properties to be sold, benefiting the Mitchell Foundation

Mitchell Historic Properties has agreed to sell two iconic Galveston Island properties — the Hotel Galvez & Spa and The Tremont House — for an undisclosed amount. The buyer is SRH Hospitality Galveston Investments LLC, an affiliate of Addison, Texas-based SRH Hospitality Holdings... Read More >

CGMF to benefit from sale of iconic Galveston properties

Cynthia and George Mitchell stroll in front of The Tremont House in Galveston, Texas. Mitchell Historic Properties reached an agreement to sell the landmark hotel, with a majority of proceeds to benefit the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation.  GALVESTON, Texas (January 9,... Read More >

Statement on report by the National Petroleum Council

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 12, 2019)—The National Petroleum Council (NPC) today announced the final report of its study on the changing dynamics of the U.S. oil and natural gas transportation infrastructure. The study was requested by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry on September 21, 2017 to... Read More >

Untapped: The New West Texas

The Texas Standard presents a summary of print and streaming segments that focued on the effects of and mitigating energy sprawl in the greater Big Bend / Permian Basin region of West Texas. This year-long series, produced by NPR/KUT's The Texas Standard throughout 2019, was funded by the Cynthia... Read More >

Podcast: Fracking, Sustainability & an Unorthodox Quest to Save the Planet

He’s known as the father of fracking. And while the designation may not be quite right, there’s no doubt that George P. Mitchell set the stage for a revolution in natural gas and oil production in the United States through hydraulic fracturing of shale formations. So, what made this man... Read More >

Author explores George Mitchell’s legacy during Texas A&M visit

Journalist and author Loren Steffy’s latest book explores the life of the late George Mitchell — an Aggie known for his contributions to Texas A&M University and recognized around the world for leading the way in the development of hydraulic fracturing. Award-winning author and... Read More >

George Mitchell's foundation challenges industry orthodoxy

  WASHINGTON - Four years ago, a group of oil and gas executives and environmental experts, assembled by the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, prepared to publish a report calling on Texas regulators to adopt rules to reduce the risk of water contamination from oil and gas... Read More >

The Legacy of George P. Mitchell

A new biography examines the life and legacy of billionaire Texas oilman George P. Mitchell. KUHF's (Houston's NPR station) Michael Hagerty interviewed Loren Steffy, former business columnist at the Chronicle and a writer at large for Texas Monthly, in advance of his... Read More >

Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation launches search for CEO

The Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation is seeking to hire a new CEO to succeed President Katherine Lorenz, granddaughter of the Mitchells. San Francisco-based Waldron has been hired to manage the search for the foundation's first nonfamily leader, according to a press release. A... Read More >

Mitchell Foundation seeks CEO as it transitions from family leadership

AUSTIN—The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, a grant-making organization continuing a legacy that included developing The Woodlands and pioneering technology for the shale oil and gas boom, is searching for its first non-family chief executive. The foundation announced... Read More >

Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation launches search for new CEO

The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation is seeking a new chief executive officer as part of a long-planned transition strategy. Katherine Lorenz, who has served the foundation since 2011, will step down when the new CEO begins. San Francisco-based Waldron has been retained to... Read More >

CGMF opens search for new Chief Executive Officer

AUSTIN (October 2, 2019) — The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation (CGMF) is seeking a new chief executive officer.   CGMF, a Texas-based grantmaking organization, works as an engine of change in both policy and practice in Texas, supporting high-impact... Read More >

Texans must treat every drop of water as precious [OPINION]

Community leaders, water planners, and policymakers need a bold, innovative, commonsensical approach to our traditional water management.  The state of Texas is a behemoth. At some 268,000 square miles — from the Piney Woods of East Texas, the Hill Country and... Read More >

Listen: George Mitchell's unconventional journey

The late billionaire George Mitchell was a Galveston-born wildcatter who became widely known as the father of fracking, a way of extracting oil and gas from deep underground. Yet as a young executive, he became fixated with the idea of creating an inclusive, sustainable community, The... Read More >

The Credible Case for One Water [Opinion]

The state of Texas is a behemoth. At some 268,820 square miles — from the Piney Woods of East Texas, the Texas Hill Country and the Texas Panhandle to the desert mountains of West Texas and the Texas Gulf Coast — the Lone Star State encompasses disparate climate regions, each with varied... Read More >

Looming water shortage draws Mitchell Foundation interest

Texas’ growing population, including along the upper coastal region, will require more water in the next 50 years, with demand outstripping supply as early as 2020 and a critical shortage by 2070, according to the 2017 State Water Plan. That’s just one challenge facing the state’s... Read More >

Montgomery (Texas) development threatens natural habitats

  Two deer graze near what used to be forested woods alongside the busy Sendera Ranch Drive by the Woodforest Golf Club. (Photo by Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper Source: Texas A&M Natural Resource Institute, Texas Land Trends/Community Impact Newspaper)    ... Read More >

Wealth Matters: As Politics Creep Into Philanthropy, Beneficiaries Come Under Fire

Conservatives like Stephen Ross serve on the board of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, but so do prominent liberals like David Geffen. Not so long ago, philanthropy was an area where politics were left at the door. Conservatives and liberals on a philanthropic board could agree to... Read More >

The credible case for Texas and its clean energy solutions [OPINION]

Recent criticism of increased Texas greenhouse gas emissions makes an important point: Without reducing emissions in Texas, U.S. climate and clean energy goals are at risk. Jeremy Symons’ Aug. 6 op-ed for The Hillnotes that there are federal solutions to address this problem,... Read More >

Increased emissions in Texas are canceling out climate progress across the country [OPINION]

For those who understand the scale of the climate emergency, President Trump’s climate denial and scorched-earth rollbacks of climate programs have been appalling. Fortunately, for every ounce of despair, there is a pound of optimism to be had in the enormous momentum we are now seeing:... Read More >

HISTORY: Learn more about George Mitchell

Residents of The Woodlands may be familiar with the name of entrepreneur George P. Mitchell, who founded the community in 1974. But some who knew him said they hope the public institutions named after him—including, most recently, a section of I-45—will serve to remind residents of his... Read More >

'Energy sprawl' threatens Texas' wide-open spaces [Opinion]

The landscapes of West Texas, like much of the western United States, are iconic — home to working cowboys, open spaces and some of the most intact landscapes remaining on the North American continent. Core to the fabric of these lands are the fiercely independent people. In places such as... Read More >

Oil executives: Time for Houston to embrace clean energy

Houston’s position as the energy capital of the world is based on fossil fuels, but the nation’s fourth-largest city must embrace new technologies and cleaner energy if it wants to lead the way for decades to come, energy executives said Thursday at the first Houston Low-Carbon Energy... Read More >

The Permian Basin is Booming With Oil. But at What Cost to West Texans?

The horizon was thick with iron derricks. All around us, pumpjacks were scattered across the muddy fields like an army of giant iron grasshoppers. They bowed their bulky heads and lifted rich extractions from the earth: a record 3.5 million barrels of crude every day. In fact, half of the U.S.... Read More >

What would George Mitchell Do? [Opinion]

The late George P. Mitchell, who would have turned 100 on May 21, was a Houston-based businessman, real estate developer and innovative philanthropist credited with developing fracking and horizontal drilling technology to profitably produce shale gas. He also insisted that oil and gas extraction be... Read More >

Opinion: The oilman who loved sustainable energy

On Tuesday, George P. Mitchell would have turned 100 years old. After his death at 94 in 2013, this newspaper declared him the “Houstonian of the Century” — not the 20th century, in which he lived most of his life, but the 21st, which his legacy will help define. The list of words... Read More >

Philanthropists are allowing the younger generation to decide how to manage budgets, allocate grants

At a charitable board meeting, members are invited to propose their visions for the future distribution of the fund. Sounds normal, except these are young teens—each given a $10,000 budget—presenting to their grandparents, who established the foundation decades earlier. “You... Read More >

Can George Mitchell's legacy save Texas' last frontier?

Editor's Note: This story is one of the top 10 stories from the May 10, 2019 edition of The Texas Energy Report. The story was originally written by Mike Lee and published in Energy Wire/E&E News on May 3, 2019. The sun sets over the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park. The... Read More >

Fighting the 'status quo' of energy development

MIDLAND—The Big Bend region is considered one of the most biodiverse in the Western Hemisphere, while also sitting in one of the most energy-intensive areas of the world — and experts say if that energy is not developed responsibly, the sustainability of the region and its resources... Read More >

EDITORIAL: Will oil and gas industry shoulder responsibilities as regulations falter?

Here in America, we talk plenty of learning from history but show very little evidence of it. Exhibit A: The Trump administration’s decision to relax regulations designed to prevent a repeat of the horrendous BP Deepwater Horizon oil-platform explosion that left 11 workers dead, released 4... Read More >

Respect Big Bend Coalition launched by Mitchell Foundation

The West Texas energy sprawl is continuing to expand, with little sign of stopping, and in response, a new coalition has been formed in hopes to mitigate the environmental impact that development could have on the Big Bend region.Marilu Hastings, Vice President of the Cynthia and George Mitchell... Read More >

Verify: You won't believe what's happening in far West Texas

Editor's Note: The following story was produced by WFAA-TV. The weekly news segment, Verify, is seen on 44 top-rated network affiliate television stations throughout the United States, including 11 Texas markets ranging from ABC and Fox stations (e.g., Midland, San Angelo, San Antonio, Houston,... Read More >

New initiative strives to inspire responsible energy development in the Big Bend

MIDLAND—The Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation, along with other partners, hopes to protect the Big Bend region from encroaching energy development by creating a new initiative called the Respect Big Bend Coalition. Its purpose is to work with West Texas communities along with energy... Read More >

Coalition to help mitigate impact of energy sprawl in West Texas

MIDLAND—The West Texas energy sprawl is continuing to expand, with little sign of stopping, and in response, a new coalition has been formed in hopes to mitigate the environmental impact that development could have on the Big Bend region. Marilu Hastings, Vice President of the Cynthia and... Read More >

Can George Mitchell's legacy save Texas' last frontier?

The sun sets over the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park. The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation has begun a multiyear effort to preserve the wider Big Bend region against some of the side effects of energy development, including oil and gas drilling and renewables. Mike Lee/E&E... Read More >

Foundation's goal is to Respect Big Bend Country

MIDLAND—The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation will offer a press briefing on Thursday, May 2 at 10:30 am in advance of George Mitchell being honored posthumously that evening by the Petroleum Museum.  Marilu Hastings, a Midland native, member of the Department of Energy's National... Read More >

Op-Ed: Texas and the green new deal

A wind farm in Fort Stockton. Texas is the leader in developing wind energy in the U.S. The “Green New Deal” proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass) has been polarizing. But in the spirit of Thomas Friedman, the frequently conservative... Read More >

After Harvey, we must change more than how we react to flood risk to thrive amid coming climate challenges [Editorial]

The phrase “after Harvey” dominates Houston’s vocabulary. Can we live in this house after Harvey? Will businesses still relocate here after Harvey? Nearly 20 months after one of the most expensive disasters in U.S. history, much has changed. In 2018, City Council passed... Read More >

Abandoned Texas oil wells seen as "ticking time bombs" of contamination

IMPERIAL — Peculiar things can happen after folks drill deep into the earth — looking for oil, water or whatever — and leave a bunch of holes in the ground. Fluids can gurgle and leak, migrating where they don’t belong. In rare instances, land could even sink or... Read More >

How to Cut U.S. Emissions Faster? Do What These Countries Are Doing

The United States is reducing its greenhouse gas emissions far too slowly to help avert the worst effects of global warming. But what would happen if the country adopted seven of the most ambitious climate policies already in place around the world? Click Here to Read More Editor's... Read More >

Activists And Researchers Are Working To Keep Tabs On Oil And Gas Emissions Near Balmorhea

Editor's Note: To listen to the story, click here: Funky smelling fumes, dimmer skies, and increased health concerns have all been reported by residents in the Southwest corner of the Permian Basin as the oil and gas industry expands. Growth has been happening north of the... Read More >

As oil and gas exports surge, West Texas becomes the world's "extraction colony"

MIDLAND, Texas — Drilling booms have come and gone in this oil town for nearly a century. But the frenzy gripping it now is different. Overwhelming. Drilling rigs tower over suburban backyards. There’s a housing crunch so severe that rents are up 30 percent in the last year alone.... Read More >

Troubled Waters: A Year After Harvey, Has Houston Learned Anything?

Before Hurricane Harvey, the buzzword that dominated Houston’s leadership circles was “transformative.” As in, the transformative projects made possible in large part by gifts from energy moguls and other vastly wealthy local citizens: an expansive network of hike-and-bike trails... Read More >

‘Paradigm shift’ on flooding emerging after Harvey

In October 1957, three days of heavy rains pushed the Turia River out of its banks in Valencia, Spain, causing floods that destroyed thousands of homes and businesses and killed at least 81 people.In response, Spanish authorities moved the river.The diversion of the Turia from the heart of Valencia... Read More >

Addressing the interconnected Issues of energy sprawl

In a so-called post-truth era, we are actually collecting more data on a wider variety of factors than ever before. These data sources can — and should — help us to make better decisions on a range of comprehensive issues. Communicating this data and insight, and the resulting... Read More >

Houston to consider underground tunnels to help prevent flooding

Southeastern Texas is one of a handful of regions bracing for this year's hurricane season. Harris and Galveston counties had severe flooding after Hurricane Harvey dropped more than 60 inches of rain last August. The National Hurricane Center calls Harvey the second costliest hurricane in American... Read More >

Op-Ed: What will it take for Houston to become more 'resilient'?

If the Houston region wants to minimize the human impacts of future events like Hurricane Harvey, we need to think about flooding differently. Houston City Council recently approved the creation of a municipal utility district to support building 900 homes in Spring Branch on the former Pine... Read More >

Second thoughts on Third Reservoir

After Hurricane Harvey demonstrated the limitations of the Barker and Addicks reservoirs, anybody who knew local history pointed out that the original plans called for developing a third dam to protect downtown Houston from flooding. Were we wrong about the third reservoir?  LEARN MORE> ... Read More >

How can Houston live with the uncertainty of flooding?

A great American city, struck by natural disaster, forever changes the way it thinks about building and planning. That’s not the story of Houston after Hurricane Harvey — yet. It should be. It is, however, the story of California — one that has plenty of lessons to teach us. A... Read More >

Report: Houston region must take fresh approach on flooding

A coalition of local researchers focusing on flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey have released a detailed report calling for the region to rethink what flood mitigation means and how to tackle these efforts. The Greater Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium, a team of experts... Read More >

Report: Solving Houston flooding woes will require wholesale strategy overhaul

A new report by a group of leading Texas researchers details a variety of shortcomings with the Houston area’s current — and proposed — approach to flood control and calls on civil leaders to pursue a multifaceted and regional strategy that ensures that all communities receive... Read More >

Here's what greater Houston can do to mitigate future flooding, according to new study

Flooding in Houston is inevitable, but there are a few ways to reduce the effect it has on people's lives, according to a new study from a coalition of local researchers. A report from the Greater Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium, which is funded through several local and national organizations,... Read More >

U.S. Energy Diplomacy report, additional news related to U.S. global energy policy

New York (March 1, 2018)—The Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University released a report focused on United States Energy Diplomacy. CGE is a grantee of the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation. Click here to read the report on U.S. Energy Diplomacy. The oil and... Read More >

As World Eyes Cape Town Water Crisis, Texas Study Explores New Options

It's a resource so precious that human life can't be sustained without it, yet so common most of us take it for granted. But water is becoming scarce, a growing problem stemming from wasteful usage and exacerbated by climate change. Cape Town, South Africa, is bracing for Day Zero, when its... Read More >

Op/Ed: Texas needs a new approach to water management before it's too late

Texas summer days are filled with the gasps and laughter of children as they cannonball into cold, refreshing spring-fed swimming holes like Jacob's Well, San Solomon Springs or Barton Springs.The future of these Texas icons is in jeopardy as population growth and climate change stretch thin our... Read More >

Houston Workshop Discusses Making Buyouts An Increased Aspect Of Flood Mitigation

Among the many strategies for mitigating future flooding in Greater Houston is buying out flood-prone homes. But one organization wants buyouts to be an even greater part of post-Harvey recovery. The Greater Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium is holding a panel discussion on... Read More >

Op/Ed: Houston-specific flood alerts give residents time to save lives, property

During Harvey, thousands of Houstonians were faced with water rising in their houses, scrambling to save possessions, wading out through streets already deep in water, sometimes stranded, and, ultimately, waiting for rescue. Warning is not enough to save a house. But, it can be enough to save a... Read More >

Bigger wells, but more water

Shale wells are swallowing twice as much water as they did a few years ago — around 10 million gallons each, or about 15 Olympic-sized swimming pools.The process of making a Texas oil well has grown increasingly intense since the start of the shale boom, with more water, more sand, and more... Read More >

CGMF Backs Ducks Unlimited's Playa Lakes Conservation

A $100,000 donation to DU’s Southern Prairies and Playas Initiative from the Austin, Texas-based Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation will conserve land in the Texas playa lakes region. The foundation’s contribution will also be used to leverage other funds in support of playa lakes... Read More >

How disaster charity can pivot to sustainable philanthropy

This has been a heavy year of natural disasters: Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, wildfires in California, the Mexico City earthquake, a monsoon in Bangladesh. In the aftermath of any natural disaster, money rushes in to help those in need. The media attention prompts people to write checks but... Read More >

Q&A with Marilu Hastings

Texas has a surprising clean-energy policy story to tell, one based on market initiatives and deregulation rather than a government-driven approach, said Marilu Hastings, vice president of sustainability programs at the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation. Those market signals were heard... Read More >

Houston comes together to figure out flooding

Hurricane Harvey dealt our region a devastating blow and exposed many of our vulnerabilities. At the same time, it reminded us of our community's strengths. We have all heard stories about – or experienced firsthand – people coming together to help one another. Neighbor helping neighbor.... Read More >

Op/Ed: For lessons on how to rebuild after Hurricane Harvey, look to George Mitchell

Few things are more exasperating to Houstonians recovering from Hurricane Harvey than hearing outsiders declare that the city's notorious lack of planning is to blame for its inundation. Harvey dumped an unprecedented amount of water on the Bayou City. No amount of responsible planning could have... Read More >

CGMF Grant to Initiate The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority/The Aransas Project Agreement

AUSTIN — The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) and The Aransas Project (TAP) undertook the first step in the implementation of The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority/The Aransas Project Agreement (GBRA/TAP Agreement), announcing the receipt of a grant from the Cynthia and George Mitchell... Read More >

Elite shale task force says there's uncertainty about industry's impact on Texas's people, environment

Texas' role as a petroleum powerhouse started with the famed Spindletop oil gusher near Beaumont in 1901. But 116 years later, there's still uncertainty about the industry's impact on the state's people and environment, according to a new study released today. A task force set up by the... Read More >

TAMEST study of shale oil and gas drilling

Oil and gas drilling in Texas shale plays pollutes the air, erodes soil and contaminates water, while the disposal of millions of gallons of wastewater causes earthquakes, a consortium of the state's top scientists concluded.In the most comprehensive analysis of the environmental and social impacts... Read More >

As U.S. abandons Paris, institutes of sustainability take action on campus

Not even two years ago more than 300 colleges and universities had signed onto the White House-launched American Campuses Act on Climate, which supported the climate negotiations scheduled to take place in Paris in 2015. More recently, in the shadow of the United States turning its back on the... Read More >

Interdisciplinary systems promote sustainability in higher ed

Throughout rural Southern India, agricultural development is getting a boost from a line of irrigation and sprinkler products that was first developed far away in Minnesota.  Called MyRain, the company was launched in 2012 by a business graduate and engineering graduate at the University of... Read More >

The University of Michigan examines innovations at interdisciplinary sustainability institutes at major research universities

THIS IS A NEW STUDY by Andrew J. Hoffman and Jessica L. Axson of the University of Michigan, "Examining Interdisciplinary Sustainability Institutes at Major Research Universities: Innovations in Cross-Campus and Cross-Disciplinary Mode. This report examines the distinctive characteristics,... Read More >

George Mitchell insisted it be done right [OPINION]

The late George P. Mitchell was a pioneer of more than oil and gas production from shale. He also insisted that oil and gas extraction be conducted responsibly.  On his own ranch, Cook's Branch Conservancy, north of The Woodlands, Mitchell oversaw natural gas production. He demanded that... Read More >

Op/Ed: What Texas can teach America about green energy

The current tenor of the national argument about America's energy future distracts us from a clear realization: Americans, regardless of political affiliation, overwhelmingly value the environment and clean energy. Don't take our word for it. Polling data show both conservative and more... Read More >

Mr. President, if you’re listening to Breitbart Radio, they just made a strong case for clean energy

Now that President Trump's official intelligence sources come primarily from talk radio, Fox & Friends, and Breitbart News, perhaps he was listening to Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM yesterday. If he'd tuned in, he would have heard the economic case for keeping... Read More >

BU’s Institute for Sustainable Energy joins effort for water sustainability

Boston University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy announced Wednesday it is partnering with the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, a Texas-based foundation focusing on water sustainability, to conduct research on efficient long-term urban water usage practices, according to a press... Read More >

Boston University and CGMF collaborate on innovative, long-term Texas water management project

Austin and Boston (February 22, 2017)—Boston University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) and the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation (CGMF) announced the funding and pursuit of a series of studies with the goal of assessing how siloed municipal water agencies in the state of... Read More >

Op/Ed: Rick Perry's Clean Energy Story

Clean energy advocates should avoid a knee-jerk battle against President-elect Donald Trump's pick for secretary of energy. While former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is a self-proclaimed climate change denier, under his watch Texas became a leader in the U.S.'s transition to a clean energy economy. ... Read More >

National Petroleum Council member: The "Texas" case for clean energy

The other shoe has just dropped on the US coal industry. The latest blow came out of Texas, home state of an environmental fund called the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation. The Foundation is also known for its work in reducing the impacts of shale drilling operations, and its vice president,... Read More >

Op/Ed: Where could Trump find an example of a GOP-led clean energy plan? Texas

President-elect Donald Trump has named Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as his choice for administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Trump is expected to name the nominees for secretaries of the departments of Energy and the Interior soon. Conventional wisdom says he will squelch... Read More >

Galveston renames causeway for Cynthia and George Mitchell

Sheridan Mitchell Lorenz remembers driving across the causeway with her parents as a child. The family, which included 10 kids, would have to take two cars to get everybody to the island. Everyone would get giddy when they reached the bridge. Her mother, Cynthia, once was pulled over for going too... Read More >

OP/ED: Clean energy and the irony of the red state of Texas

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last month heard oral arguments on the legality of the Clean Power Plan, a pillar of the Obama Administration's climate protection strategy. The plan requires states to develop strategies to curtail carbon dioxide emissions from... Read More >

Equitable Origin awarded grant to advance clean energy development

Equitable Origin (EO) was awarded a grant by the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation to support the first phase of a project to study the social and environmental impacts of clean energy infrastructure and consider the viability of applying independent, stakeholder-based standards to... Read More >

Sheridan Mitchell Lorenz establishes endowment for science graduate students

"Joe Newton did so much to help the College of Science and Texas A&M University succeed. I know his contributions were in part a tribute to my father's memory and legacy, and I am just incredibly touched by that. I want future generations to know how loved he was and is, and how much he did for... Read More >

George Mitchell's legacy: a shale revolution, a 'revolutionary' city and a revitalized Galveston

In the early 1980s, Texas oil giant George Mitchell read an academic article arguing that economically extracting natural gas from shale rock just might be possible. But the revolution didn't arrive quickly. "It took a decade and a half of conviction, investment and dogged determination," energy... Read More >

CGMF’s Hastings appointed to Department of Energy’s National Petroleum Council

Austin (June 14, 2016)—Marilu Hastings, vice president, sustainability program for the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, was appointed by United States Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest J. Moniz to serve as a member of the National Petroleum Council at the Department of Energy for the... Read More >

Women to Watch

The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation's president, Katherine Lorenz, was named one of The Chronicle of Philanthropy's "Women to Watch" in their June 2016 edition. The list of 23 philanthropists includes Melinda Gates, Laurene Powell Jobs, Helen Lakelly Hunt, Jacqueline Zehner, Swanee Hunt,... Read More >

In Texas, market forces driving shift from coal, study says

Texans are on pace to rely more heavily on natural gas, wind and solar energy to power their lives in the coming decades — and much less on coal. That’s regardless of how judges rule in battles over federal regulations meant to speed the shift toward cleaner-burning electricity sources,... Read More >

Stuck in middle of fight over clean energy

The Supreme Court halted President Obama’s Clean Power Plan requirements for now, but a recent survey of Texans showed broad support across party lines for the state to create a comprehensive clean energy plan, even if the federal government doesn’t.For the wind- and solar-rich Texas... Read More >

Texans support a statewide "clean energy" plan

When it blocked President’s Obama’s Clean Power Plan, the U.S. Supreme Court let Texas off the hook — at least for now — on developing a plan to boost its use of cleaner-burning energy. But most Texans believe their leaders should draw up a plan to shift from coal-fired... Read More >

Water Funder Initiative releases blueprint for philanthropy to advance sustainable water management

To review the Water Funder Initiative's Blueprint, click this link. For additional information, contact Brett Holmes at or (713) 244-4178. The Water Funder Initiative (WFI), a collaborative to identify and activate promising water solutions through strategic philanthropic... Read More >

Why we must stand up for overhead

As family philanthropists, it’s difficult to read headlines about abuses at wasteful, extravagant nonprofits without feeling the urge to look suspiciously at the expenses of groups that seek our support. These reports—such as the recent exposé about lavish travel spending at the... Read More >

Houston Advanced Research Center ready to build new Woodlands campus

The Woodlands-based Houston Advanced Research Center is expected to break ground on its 3.5-acre headquarters in March. The nonprofit research center, which was founded by the late George P. Mitchell, originally announced a groundbreaking for this year. Construction of the... Read More >

Halcyon days for astronomy in the state of Texas

As their football teams clashed across the state this weekend, astronomers from 18 Texas institutions gathered inside a shiny new building on the Texas A&M University campus to make common cause. Armed with laptops, tablets and even pen and paper, several dozen astronomers spoke of dark matter... Read More >

Unlikely ally endorses the administration's methane reduction plan

WASHINGTON — In its push to slash methane emissions, the Obama administration has an unlikely ally — the philanthropic organization that is a legacy of Texas oil man George Mitchell.Breaking with oil and gas industry leaders who say the proposed methane rules would hike costs and... Read More >

EPA's methane crackdown wins endorsement from oil icon's Texas foundation

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration just won an unlikely ally in its push to slash methane emissions from oil wells and gas processing facilities.The philanthropic organization that is a legacy of George Mitchell, the “father of fracking,” endorsed the proposal as a... Read More >

Statement on EPA Methane Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on August 18 proposed the first federal regulations requiring the nation’s oil and gas industry to cut emissions of methane as part of an expanding effort to combat climate change. The Agency aims to reduce methane emissions by about 45 percent by... Read More >

Katherine Lorenz named one of world's prominent philanthropists

When Katherine Lorenz started her own nonprofit in Oaxaca, Mexico at the age of 24, she was not a stranger to philanthropy. Her grandparents -- Cynthia and George Mitchell -- instilled philanthropy in her blood. That did not, however, mean her nonprofit work came easy.  "Creating an... Read More >

Gradual Implementation of EPA Clean Power Plan Could Increase Texas Water Savings

ARLINGTON, Virginia—Texas could save significantly more water if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) incorporates comments from stakeholders and adopts a more gradual implementation schedule for its new proposed rule requiring lower carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) from existing power... Read More >

Mitchell land continues to serve as nature preserve, outdoor classroom

Before the name was given to the master-planned community north of Houston, "The Woodlands" referred to a piece of property that George Mitchell and his wife Cynthia used as a country getaway, a place to spend time in nature with family. When Mitchell's vision for developing a suburb in the woods... Read More >

Report: Proposed EPA plan will save water, reduce air pollution in Texas

CNA Corporation today released a report finding that under EPA's proposed rule to cut carbon dioxide emissions from electric power plants, Texas' power sector could cut water consumption by 21 percent, while reducing conventional air pollutants 29 percent by 2029. The water savings are... Read More >

Outdoor learning: Rice and Cook's Branch form collaboration

HOUSTON—Cook's Branch Conservancy doesn't look like a classroom, but that's just what the 5,600-acre nature preserve in Texas’ Montgomery County became for a group of Rice University students studying insect biology. "Many of our labs feature an outdoor field experience, which is... Read More >

The 'green conservative' movement: Big players and their uphill battle

If you follow American politics, you'll probably find these words surprising. Conservatives typically reserve the word “radical” for use alongside “environmentalist," and “conservation” is more often a code word for “tyrannical big... Read More >

A move to getting 'right' on clean energy?

In what passes for public debate on energy, it’s sometimes easy to believe that conservatives are the fossils in fossil fuels and that liberals are loonies leading us to an unreliable future where the sun never sets and the wind always blows.  That can be the view, at least, if you are... Read More >

Greening the Tea Party

There’s a new environmental awareness among Tea Party members in Texas who say that conservation is a conservative value. Carl Lindemann reports that some southern Tea Party members label themselves “green conservatives”, advocating that clean energy can work within the free market... Read More >

Conservatives Cultivate Taste For a Green Tea Party

Speakers at a conservative green energy panel held at the Paramount Theater in Austin. Tucker Eskew is no stranger to thankless tasks. Eskew was the Republican operative who, in 2008, had the honor of tutoring Sarah Palin on being a vice-presidential candidate. Now, he’s ready to take the... Read More >

Germany and Texas: Energy twins?

Germany and the state of Texas, so different in so many ways, have some surprising similarities when it comes to their electricity systems. These similarities and differences will be explored at a symposium at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on the University of Texas at... Read More >

Here's where Katherine Lorenz got the idea of saving the world

Growing up in Texas, Katherine Lorenz saw nothing unusual in her father, Perry’s, penchant for maintaining his real estate office in down-at-heels East Austin and aiding local Latino residents or her mother, Sheridan’s, eagerness to spend money on those less fortunate. When Sheridan... Read More >

Report: New efficiencies could ease strain on power markets

New measures to reduce electricity use could curb growth in Texas’ peak power demand by 40 percent to 50 percent over the next two decades, reducing the need to build new generating capacity and lowering prices for ratepayers, a new report shows.Texas’ power market could restrain... Read More >

Ramping Up

Ramping up—or significantly increasing charitable giving or activities—can be an empowering transition point in your philanthropy, opening possibilities for extending your reach, funding more deeply or in new areas, and having more impact. It can also leave you bewildered by the... Read More >

Agreeing to disagree on state's future water needs

How much more water will Texas really need by 2060?The 2012 state water plan, the state’s strategy for meeting water needs, estimated that Texas would face a shortfall of 2.7 trillion gallons a year by 2060, and that filling the gap would take an estimated $53 billion in new infrastructure.But... Read More >

OP-ED: Greenhouse gas emissions are not our only problem

With all the recent scientific studies, media coverage, and policy decisions about reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, one might think that the emissions issue is the only challenge that results from our demand for electricity. Years of successful advocacy funded by philanthropists and the... Read More >

Billionaires with big ideas are privatizing American science

Last April, President Obama assembled some of the nation’s most august scientific dignitaries in the East Room of the White House. Joking that his grades in physics made him a dubious candidate for “scientist in chief,” he spoke of using technological innovation “to grow our... Read More >

Methane, friend and foe for climate change

A STUDY in the journal Science finds that the United States is putting a lot more methane, a potent contributor to global warming and the primary compound in natural gas, into the air than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated. But the report also shows that the problem is... Read More >

Report: Burning natural gas is better than using coal

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: The latest news about natural gas arrives in an awkward moment. American gas drilling is booming. The market is expanding. And natural gas is promoted as a clean fuel, far better to run buses or heat homes than oil. A report in Science magazine concludes those benefits are real,... Read More >

Methane leaks far higher than US estimates

The natural gas system in the United States is leaking far more methane, a harmful greenhouse gas, into the air than official estimates say, according to research released Thursday.The report by researchers at seven major universities reviewed some 200 studies from the past two decades and found... Read More >

Study: Natural Gas for Coal a Good Climate Trade-Off Despite Leaks

A new analysis of more than 200 studies of how much natural gas escapes into the atmosphere to drive global warming finds that more gas is leaking than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had been estimating. But the new review also finds that disturbingly high leak rates publicized... Read More >

Study: EPA likely underestimating methane emissions by at least 50%

Methane emissions are worse than the conventional wisdom would have you believe, according to a new study by researchers at Stanford University.Methane, which is the primary component of natural gas, is an especially powerful greenhouse gas, packing more than two dozen times as much global warming... Read More >

Study: America's natural gas system is leaky and in need of a fix

The first thorough comparison of evidence for natural gas system leaks confirms that organizations including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have underestimated U.S. methane emissions generally, as well as those from the natural gas industry specifically. Natural gas consists... Read More >

George Mitchell second most generous donor of 2013

A Houstonian came in just under Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in a list of the country's most generous people. George P. Mitchell, a Houston pioneer in fracking, died last year, but his commitment to good environmental stewardship made him No. 2 on this year's Philanthropy 50, the list of the... Read More >

Pioneers who remade energy

In coming up with a list of the most influential corporate executives in the past 25 years, I believe the ultimate winners should be people who became such remarkable instruments for change that their contributions ultimately transformed their respective companies, industries and the world... Read More >

Mitchell fund to expand in 2018

A foundation set up by the late billionaire George Mitchell and his wife intends to expand its grantmaking programs as well as pour resources into fighting poverty and improving education in Galveston Island, after Mitchell's estate is settled, the foundation president said Friday. Galveston... Read More >

Statement in regard to Houston Chronicle story

Statement from the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation Austin (December 24, 2013)—The Houston Chronicle published a story in its December 24, 2013 edition that included a number of inaccuracies about the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation. This statement is an attempt to clarify these... Read More >

Study: Gas, renewables will provide state's future electricity needs

Over the next two decades, natural gas and renewable energy, particularly wind and solar, will provide all new power generation for the state’s primary electricity grid, a new study predicts. The future of utility-size solar and wind energy generation remains very much linked to the price... Read More >

Report: Renewable energy to soar on Texas grid

Renewable energy could supply more than 40 percent of the electricity for Texas by 2032, according to a report issued Tuesday. Wind and solar energy are projected to contribute 25 to 43 percent of total power generation in the next 20 years, benefiting from technology improvements and compatibility... Read More >

Energy Revolution: Six things you didn't know about the Texas oil boom

The energy revolution in the United States is transforming communities across the country, but the effect is felt nowhere more acutely than in Texas. No stranger to the oil business, Texans have seen boom times before as well as the busts that tend to follow close behind. Still, even with the... Read More >

How much did the Feds really help George Mitchell?

Ever since President Obama, in his 2012 State of the Union speech, gave the federal government credit for developing hydraulic fracturing,  the idea that the feds underwrote fracking has taken on a life of its own. In response to my recent Texas Monthly article on George P. Mitchell, the... Read More >

The Feds and fracking: A chicken or egg question

With his own “green jobs” initiative falling short and unemployment remaining stubbornly high, perhaps it wasn’t surprising that President Barack Obama touted the benefits of cheap natural gas in his 2012 State of the Union speech. He predicted that the boom unleashed by hydraulic... Read More >

Searching for shale gas answers

George Mitchell's best-known legacies are the hydraulic fracturing strategies that he perfected over decades in developing the Barnett Shale play around Fort Worth, Texas. Now the family-guided foundation of Mitchell, who died in July at the age of 94, is seeking to add to his legacy by tackling... Read More >

Nature: U.T., Mitchell Institute at A&M Astronomers Discover Most Distant Galaxy

Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin may be former football rivals, but the Lone Star State's two research giants have teamed up to detect the most distant spectroscopically confirmed galaxy ever found — one created within 700 million years after the Big Bang. The... Read More >

Stephen Hawking Eulogizes George P. Mitchell

Two weeks ago, Galveston born and raised George P. Mitchell passed away at age 94. He was well-known as a Texas oil billionaire but less well-known as a keen advocate of science. He not only funded basic research, he was a driving force in getting President Ronald Reagan to support the... Read More >

Report: Renewable energy, natural gas should work together on the grid

Renewable energy and natural gas should work together as sources of electricity generation, rather than as competitors on the Texas grid, according to a new report produced for the Texas Clean Energy Coalition. “The bottom line is that Texas is going to require a significant source of... Read More >

George Mitchell's 17-year mission to crack the Barnett Shale

Everything George P. Mitchell did flew in the face of convention. It’s no wonder that the process he pioneered is commonly called “unconventional” drilling. The wildcatter tried for 17 years to find the right cocktail of chemicals that would crack the Barnett Shale. He did it in... Read More >

Governor, lawmakers honor oil field pioneer George Mitchell

The Texas House of Representatives honored a shale drilling pioneer Monday, calling George Mitchell a man who has changed the world. Mitchell, who will turn 94 later this month, wasn't at the ceremony, although his daughter Sheridan Lorenz and representatives of Mitchell Energy and the Cynthia and... Read More >

George P. Mitchell: Planting seeds of his legacy in Texas

The revitalization of oil and natural gas production in the United States can largely be traced back to one man, George Mitchell, who spent a decade trying to figure out how to employ refined hydraulic fracturing techniques to coax more gas out of the tight Barnett Shale formation. But Mitchell's... Read More >

Scientists see promising blips in underground dark matter search

Three potential signatures of exotic dark matter particles have been found hidden in the readings from an underground lab in Minnesota  — and although the results are too tentative to be classified as a discovery, scientists say they provide promising new clues to the solution of a... Read More >

Scientists may finally shine a light on dark matter

Physicists have puzzled for decades about a form of matter that makes up 90 percent of galaxies, including our own Milky Way, but which they've never seen.Now they may finally have solved the mystery of this "dark matter."  The answer may come from Sam Ting, a Nobel laureate in physics who... Read More >

OP-ED Texas Should Lead On Gas Drilling Oversight

Rarely do national environmental protests occur in Texas. Our state is a challenging venue in which to highlight environmental issues, especially those related to impacts of popular oil and gas practices. Yet, an anti-oil and gas coalition convened its first national summit deep... Read More >

Controversial 'Fracking' Drills Downs on Energy Question

George P. Mitchell, chairman of The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, addressed the issue of natural gas sustainability in the story, “Controversial ‘Fracking’ Drills Down on Energy Question,” by Tedd Cohen, published in the February 2013 edition... Read More >

Wealth Matters: Family Foundations Prepare for the Next Generation

As parents, we worry about our children. And if we have more than one, we worry about how they will interact with each other, not just when they’re young but when they’ve grown up. Independence is great; interdependence is what keeps them together when we’re gone. Families of... Read More >

In study of next generation donors, good news for start-ups, social entrepreneurs and innovators

Even as there are reports outlining how young Americans could live their entire lives strapped with debt, there is a cohort of the younger generations, particularly Generations Y and X, who stand to inherit an unprecedented amount of wealth — somewhere in the neighborhood... Read More >

The oil man who figured out fracking

He cracked the code. That's what folks in the oilpatch say about George Mitchell. In the 1970s and '80s, the country's conventional, big pools of natural gas were tapped out. Drillers looked in new geologic formations, but found themselves stumped."We knew the gas was there," Mitchell tells... Read More >

A valuable lesson on the birds and trees

    This is a story about a family and its love for a plot of land. The fact that the 5,650 acre plot of land is owned by the family of oil-and-gas man, developer and dedicated philanthropist George P. Mitchell is just a matter of scale.    There are lessons in this... Read More >

Q&A with Katherine Lorenz, president of the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation

Almost two years ago, Katherine Lorenz took the reins of The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, becoming the third generation of family members to lead and carry on the passion of its founders — her grandparents.The foundation, which focuses on sustainability, funds high-impact projects... Read More >

Mitchell Foundation Makes Additional $20 Million Gift to Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M University

A new $20 million gift makes Houston billionaire George P. Mitchell the most generous donor in Texas A&M University's history. The contribution, established through the Texas A&M Foundation and payable over five years, will significantly boost the endowment for the George P. and Cynthia... Read More >

OP-ED Hastings: Ask the right questions about Texas' water future

Inadequate water supplies existed long before last year’s drought and will linger long after the Legislature concludes in 2013. With growing demand for Texas water from increasing population and economic activities, and strained water supplies in times of drought, prominent experts and elected... Read More >

Romney's Empathy Bypass -- and What It Means for Election Day

When Presidential candidate Mitt Romney argued that defunding the Federal Emergency Relief program FEMA was necessary he set in motion his likely defeat on November 6th, 2012. He built upon this narrative with his characterization of 47% of Americans as leeches and self-dealing... Read More >

Will Texas Lawmakers Fund the State Water Plan?

When it comes to the cost of the looming water crisis in Texas, the State Water Development Board is ready with some helpful numbers.They are generally big ones. If the state does nothing to cope with its booming population and dwindling water supply, Texas businesses will lose $116... Read More >

13% of U.S.'s Energy Goes to Collect, Prepare Water: Study

Energy used for treating, heating, pumping and cooling water in the U.S. accounted for almost 13 percent of the nation’s total annual consumption, according to a University of Texas at Austin study. The amount, about 12.3 quadrillion BTUs, is equivalent to the annual energy usage of about 40... Read More >

To Conserve Energy, Conserve Water

So you got your new compact fluorescent lightbulbs. Now you’re wringing your hands over how to dispose of them so that you don’t unleash toxic mercury into the environment. An improvement? Or just another example of politicians and environmentalists trying to push us around? Sure CFLs... Read More >

Meet Philanthropy's Next Generation

Every year a select group of entrepreneurs and business people upset the status quo. Whether their source of wealth is a hot startup like Nasty Gal or Instagram, or savvy leadership at a hedge fund, we deem them each likely to join the future ranks of The Forbes 400. And in a special twist this... Read More >

How The Next Generation of Wealth Is Revolutionizing Philanthropy As We Know It

The next generation of inherited or self-made wealth is being scrutinized and pressured to give bigger, earlier and more efficiently than ever before. And rather than measuring success based on the number of digits connected to a bank account, many of today’s next gen philanthropists also... Read More >

Seeking the sensible center [Opinion]

In Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and even Texas, there is a fundamental debate over “fracking” — the hydraulic fracturing of shale rock that, together with horizontal drilling, unleashes abundant natural gas. Mostly, it’s the loud voices at the extremes who are dominating the... Read More >

Gas Works: Shale gas is giving a big boost to America's Economy

PENNSYLVANIA, THE SITE of America’s first oil wells back in the 1850s, is now home to the world’s second-largest gas field after South Pars, on the border between Qatar and Iran. At the turn of the millennium America’s conventional gasfields were in decline. The country was... Read More >

Saving the Woodpecker: How a Texas Oil Billionaire Rebuilt a Forest

One Texas oil and gas billionaire is getting special recognition for what he has done to help a little bird. The Sand County Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department selected the Cook’s Branch Conservancy for the 2012 Leopold Conservation Award, the... Read More >

George P. Mitchell is one of Foreign Policy's 100 Top Global Thinkers

George Mitchell long ago made our short list of candidates for Houstonian of the century - the 21st century. Mitchell's futuristic achievements in developing The Woodlands alone would have qualified the nonagenarian oilman for serious consideration for the title. His vision of a planned... Read More >

The Shale Gas Revolution

The United States is a country that has received many blessings, and once upon a time you could assume that Americans would come together to take advantage of them. But you can no longer make that assumption. The country is more divided and more clogged by special interests. Now we groan to absorb... Read More >

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