In an interview on CNBC's Squawk Box, Welch explained why he believes an energy-rich and independent America in the 21st century could create a bigger boom in the economy than the Internet did in the late 20th century.
"We have a chance in this country to make this the American century," Welch said. "This gas thing is huge. The gas that we have found is in the first inning - it's like the Internet in 1990. This is the first inning of a great American century."