Oilmen go green by prospecting for solar energy rights in Texas, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma | World

During the boom in American oil and gas, mining companies sent legions of “countrymen” to Texas, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma to contract the owners so they could start drilling before anyone else.

They were street fighters and investigators, quickly in the file room of a rural courthouse, charming on their doorstep and always aware of the maxim of oil magnate J Paul Getty that “the meek should inherit the earth, but not their mineral rights”.

Now they are again looking for new leases, not for shale oil deposits, but for sunshine and wind turbines, at the behest of renewable energy companies. “I started out as a farmer in an oil field,” said Jim Stout, 42, who was in northwest Pennsylvania

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