"By next year, Texas will be spewing four million barrels, which will put it ahead of old oil powers such as the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Iran. If it were a nation, Texas would already be the ninth biggest oil producer in the world."
Midway through his chicken-fried steak Michael Joseph, rancher, big game hunter and pilot, kicks himself for not having offered his visitor a spin in his aircraft for an aerial view of what is going on hereabouts in Karnes County, one hour south of San Antonio. "You'd be amazed." Then again, low clouds mean it would have been a bust anyhow.
But you grasp what's going on pretty quickly at ground level. Even this place, the timber-frame, raucous Jerry B's in Kenedy, tells its own story. Bursting at the rafters and with hard hats resting on every table alongside plastic jugs of iced tea, it is not, shall we say, a restaurant for old men. Like the country all around.
Welcome to the new American oil rush.