Frederick Shepperd, in his late seventies, is as energetic as a man a quarter of his age. And he’s a man with a mission.
He wants to convince the world that fracking is safe and good. And he wants you to invest in it!
His career has been long and interesting - he’s helped advise companies from Texas Instruments to Lufthansa to FedEx.
But now he concentrates on investing his family’s wealth through Frederick Shepperd Investors AG in Zurich. Wealth which originally came from being one of the biggest land-owners in Eastern Ohio since 1918.
Won’t recent falls in energy prices hurt - making this method of production too expensive now?
Mr Shepperd says that fracking depends on technology having become cheaper - not on oil having become dear. But when we spoke, oil still had a long way to go to reach the $50 a barrel it is today - and conventional wisdom has it that fracking needs $65 a barrel oil, to be economically viable.
Let’s see... Oil won’t be cheap forever, anyway.
The hydraulic fracturing of shale, to force out oil or gas is controversial - but the arguments for and against are well-rehearsed, so I’ll leave them for others. But you could watch a couple of films produced by the industry and environmentalists here…
...Instead I simply ask Freddie Shepperd for his impressions of how fracking has transformed his old neighbourhood. Once in terminal decline, and now experiencing what he likens to a fresh Gold Rush…