The Twilight Of Fuel, The Virtue Of Waste, And Why We Will Never Run Out Of Energy


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Basic Books

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Basic Books, 2005
By Peter Huber and Mark P. Mills

The Bottomless Well is now available in paperback. Please click here to order your copy today!

The sheer volume of talk about energy, energy prices, and energy policy on both sides of the political aisle suggests that we must know something about these subjects. But according to Peter Huber and Mark Mills, the things we "know" are mostly myths. They explain why demand will never go down, why most of what we think of as "energy waste" actually benefits us; why more efficient cars, engines, and bulbs will never lower demand, and why energy supply is infinite. In the automotive sector, gas prices matter less and less, and hybrid engines will most likely lead us to cars propelled by the coal-fired grid. As for the much-maligned power grid itself, it's the worst system we could have except for all the proposed alternatives. Expanding energy supplies mean higher productivity, more jobs, and a growing GDP. Across the board, energy isn't the problem, energy is the solution.

Peter W. Huber is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Legal Policy, where he specializes in issues related to technology, science and law. His previous books include Hard Green, Liability, Orwell’s Revenge, and Galileo’s Revenge. In addition to being a regular columnist in Forbes magazine, Huber has also published articles in scholarly journals such as the Harvard Law Review and the Yale Law Journal, as well as many other publications, including Science, The Wall Street Journal, Reason, Regulation, and National Review. He has appeared on numerous television and radio programs, including Face the Nation and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Huber earned his law degree from Harvard University and a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

Mark P. Mills is a co-founding partner in Digital Power Capital, and partner in the Digital Power Group, a research firm. Prior to co-founding Digital Power Capital, Mark served as a staff consultant to The White House Science Office (under President Reagan), a number of the Federal Research Laboratories, the (former) Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, and the U.S. Department of Energy. He has been published in various popular publications, including Forbes magazine, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times Magazine, as well as numerous professional publications. He has also testified before and briefed many state public service commissions, legislative groups, state legislators, and the U.S. Congress. Mark was an experimental physicist and development engineer in the fields of integrated circuits during the early 1970s, the "Jurassic era" of microprocessors. He also worked in fiber optics, defense and solid-state devices, fields in which he holds several patents. Mark holds a degree in physics from Queen's University, Canada, and is a member of numerous professional societies including the American Physical Society and Institute of Electric and Electronic Engineers.


It's the End of Oil / Oil Is Here to Stay, By Kenneth Deffeyes, Peter Huber, Time, 10-23-05

Getting Over Oil, By Peter W. Huber and Mark P. Mills, Commentary, September 2005

the end of the m.e.?, By Peter Huber, American Society of Mechanical Engineering Magazine, May 2005

$3 Gas? We'll Shrug It Off, Forbes, 05-09-05

We're Running on Empty! You're Full of It!, Los Angeles Times, 04-24-05

Heavy Iron = Energy Independence: Mark P. Mills and Peter W. Huber say hybrid engines will reduce the need for foreign oil , By Mark Mills and Peter Huber, The New York Sun, 04-07-05

A Power Portfolio, By Peter Huber and Mark Mills, Forbes, 04-11-05

The Art of Energy: The future will not be painted in oil, By Peter Huber and Mark Mills,, 02-01-05

Oil, Oil, Everywhere . . ., By Peter Huber and Mark Mills, Wall Street Journal, 01-27-05

Why the U.S. Needs More Nuclear Power, By Peter Huber and Mark Mills, City Journal, Winter 2005

The Virtue of Waste, By Peter Huber, Forbes, 12-13-04


Paging Through: Energy Books, By Jack Reardon, Journal Sentinel, April 28, 2005

Energy myth: nary a scarcity with such standards, By Paul Weyrich, RenewAmerica, April 26, 2005 (This review also appears on, 04-27-05)

US getting over its China syndrome, By Amity Shlaes, Business Day, Johannesburg, South Africa, 04-26-05 (This article also appears in the Chicago Tribune, 04-26-05,, 04-26-05)

Book Review, By John Ludwig,, 04-04-05

The much noted crisis in energy that is no crisis at all, By Doug Bandow, The Washington Times, March 2005

The Bottomless Well, Harvard Business Review, March 2005

Energy Crisis? Phooey, By Peter Coy, BusinessWeekOnline, 03-14-05

Q&A: Why the environmentalists have it all backward, The Star-Ledger, 03-06-05

Oil, Oil, Everywhere OR Crisis at Hand?, 03-04-05

Energy, the bottomless well, By Jim Pinto, ISA/InTech, 03-02-05

Bookviews by Alan Caruba,, March 2005

Leaders ask wrong questions about fuels, energy efficiency, By Thomas Bray, The Detroit News, 02-27-05

NEW FRONTIERS, Oilgram News, VOLUME 83 / NUMBER 35, 02-22-05

Energy is a very subtle concept, too difficult to get right, By D. Murali, The Hindu Business Line, 02-19-05

IN THE MAIL: Peter Huber and Mark Mills' new book...,, 02-08-05

What Energy Crisis?, By Spencer Reiss, Technology Review, Febuary 2005

Go Ahead, Leave the Light On, Wall Street Journal, 02-01-05

Friday Feature/ Book of the Month, The Friday Letter, Gilder
Publishing, Issue 185.0, 01-21-05

Peter Huber and Mark Mills On Our Energy Future, By Randall Parker,, 01-13-05


The Magic of Hydrogen, By William Baldwin, Forbes, 04-25-05

Amity Shlaes: US must exorcise its nuclear demons, By Amity Shlaes,, 04-24-05 (This article also appears in the Chicago Tribune, 04-26-05 and, 04-26-05)

Ignorance on energy matters is profound, By James K. Glassman, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE, 04-18-05

The Saudi watch, By Vincent Carroll,, 04-13-05

Behind the Oil "Shock", By John Tamny, National Review Online, 04-08-05

David Frum's Diary, National Review Online, 03-17-05


Saudi Canadia?, By Adam S. Chamberlain, The Washington Times, 03-12-05

Will nuclear energy's appeal be realized?, By Jack Markowitz,, 03-06-05

Burn, Baby, Burn, By Donald Luskin,, 03-04-05


The Bottomless Well

"This is the book for anyone who deplores "group think" and demands original analysis. The authors by careful research and a clear eye destroy the six myths about energy they say constitutes today's conventional wisdom. Indeed the book is about "mastering power itself—the capture and release of energy" and its effect on society, ours and others. Anyone with an open mind will never think about "the energy problem" quite the same way after reading this powerful and provocative book."

Walter B. Wriston

"No one with a responsibility for policy—or an interest in it—can grasp the new realities of energy and the environment without mastering the iconoclastic themes and insights of this supremely true and contrarian work."

George Gilder

"The Bottomless Well performs a valuable service by putting human ingenuity at the center of the debate over energy."

Peter Coy

Manhattan Institute