Charles Simmons, R.I.P.

Reliable sources say Charles Simmons, the Fort Worth energy pioneer, has Charles_Simmons_and_Caroline_Hunt_IMG_0321died. Simmons was the regular companion of Rosewood Mansion founder Caroline Rose Hunt (pictured with Simmons in a photo by Jeanne Prejean) and, back in the 1950s, invented a “ball sealer” process used to extract tough-to-get-at oil and gas.

He was also a blunt-talking, old-school political conservative who didn’t suffer fools. The last time I saw him, at a Dallas charity fundraiser, he was railing against environmental activists who just say no to industrial progress. “We can drill 1,200 gas wells in the city of Fort Worth, but we can’t drill in Alaska’s” ANWR coastal plain, Simmons said. “Put in there, they’re a bunch of lily-livered b******s for not allowing drilling” on the Alaskan plain. “Lily-livered,” he added with a smile. “That’s a good word.”

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