Mark Mills's Articles

Mark P. Mills is founder and CEO of the Digital Power Group, an energy and tech capital advisory group. He was formerly the co-founder and chief tech strategist for Digital Power Capital, a boutique venture fund, where, among numerous other transactions, he served as Chairman and CEO of a lithium battery start-up, and earlier co-founded and served as Chairman and CTO of ICx Technologies helping take it public in a 2007 IPO. Mark is a member of the Advisory Council of the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University. Mark also is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Mark Mills: Shale 2.0

In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, H. Sterling Burnett, managing editor of Environment & Climate News speaks with Mark Mills. Mills, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, has a background in science and actively works in economics and technology. Mills and Burnett discuss his Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-10) presentation: […]

Shale 2.0 Technology and the Coming Big-Data Revolution in America’s Shale Oil Fields

With petroleum prices down 50 percent over the past year, many analysts and pundits are predicting the end of America’s shale oil boom. Recent headlines include: “Oil Price Fall Forces North Dakota to Consider Austerity” (New York Times);[1] “Oil Price Drop Hurts Spending on Business Investments” (Wall Street Journal);[2] “The American Oil Boom Won’t Last […]

Peak Oil Price? Winners And Losers At The End Of The Era of The $100 Barrel

What if the world never again sees sustained prices for oil over $100 per barrel? What if—absent exogenous black-swan events like major wars—oil never sells for much more than $50 per barrel for decades into the future? Who wins? Who loses? Short answer: The winners are consumers everywhere, and American businesses that produce oil. The […]

Raise Gasoline Taxes? Instead, Congress Should Lift The Ban On Oil Exports

It was predictable. Oil gets cheap and now there’s a contingent in Congress looking to slap a new tax onto gasoline. What’s surprising is that there are some conservatives in both Congress and the pundictocracy also receptive to the notion, including the estimable Charles Krauthammer. It’s a terrible idea. Instead of raising taxes, the Congress […]

The Oil Price Swoon Won’t Stop the Shale Boom

With oil prices sliding, energy investors are worried, while Saudi Arabia and Russia no doubt hope, that low prices will cap America’s boom in shale-oil production. Green-energy types sit by, happy to see turmoil in the fossil-fuel sector. But price dips are common in oil and other markets subject to cyclical swings. True enough, sellers […]

Smartphones: The SUVs Of the Information Superhighway

We can “revitalize entire communities, and connect people to jobs,” said President Obama a week ago in a discordant speech on the economy at Northwestern University calling for more roads and bridges. During the same week, the president’s Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, was talking at a less-noted event about infrastructure too, the one that […]

A Four-Step Energy Strategy For Our Time

It’s a sign of the times: The Islamic State is getting millions in oil revenues. According to one news organization, the terror group is even recruiting petroleum engineers. And farther north, Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko secured a promise from the White House last week for the U.S. to join in a review of his country’s Russian […]

The New World of Energy Management

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) the relationship between electric power consumption and economic growth is changing after decades of being very strongly correlated. Between 1975 and 1995 the “two growth measures were nearly equal in value.” Looking to the future, EIA estimates that the “rate of projected growth in electricity use will be […]

The Data Are Clear: Robots Do Not Create Unemployment

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the first electronic thinking machine that displaced knowledge workers. In February 1944, Britain’s Colossus, the world’s first computer, started to ‘think’ and successfully automate human mental labor. By the summer of 1944 there were three such machines hard at work. The rest, as they say, is history. But […]

In The Future, Will Only Robots Celebrate Labor Day?

Just in time for Labor Day, in the thick of the restaurant-heavy summer season, the New York Times reported: “Restaurant industry experts are predicting that the fast food business will undergo a technological revolution in the next few years that will place increasing numbers of robots and other labor-saving devices in the kitchens.” That story […]

A Marshall Plan for Energy

30: Both Europe and America have about 30 LNG terminals under consideration — more than enough for the free-Europe goal. But Europe has only six LNG import terminals currently under construction, and America so far is building just two export terminals. Build-out would happen fast on both sides of the Atlantic if Congress voided the […]

Ten Numbers About Our Past And Future In Space

0.5: From inception to landing the first two men on the moon on July 20, 1969, through putting 10 more there in the following three years, the entire Apollo program cost less than 0.5% of the cumulative U.S. GDP. 1: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Armstrong set the first human foot […]

The Solution To High Gasoline Prices: Let US Companies Produce And Sell More Oil

s millions of Americans hit the road for the holiday weekend, they’ll also be hitting the highest prices paid at the pump since 2008. Why should this be the case when U.S. oil production is actually skyrocketing? In the past half-dozen years, domestic oil production has grown by nearly 50 percent making the United States […]

Congrats To The Administration On A Baby Step Towards A Rational Oil Policy

The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that a “U.S. Ruling Loosens Four-Decade Ban On Oil Exports.” But the headlines have it wrong.  The law of the land banning exports of crude oil has not changed.  The Administration has not “loosened” the rules, but has merely followed the extant law in grudgingly granting a couple […]

3 myths on our natural gas boom

For all the coverage America’s energy boom has gotten, there are still a lot of common assumptions about the oil and natural gas business that are flat out wrong. We know the good news: Oil and gas production is rising so fast that U.S. dependence on imports will soon disappear. Growth in natural gas has […]

The 3D Printers Are Coming: Dig More Coal?

The 3D printers are coming.  And fast. The only debate is over how fast. Velocity matters for stock pickers following the small world of pure-play public 3D printing companies.  It is also relevant for business analysts and, perhaps surprisingly, for energy forecasters. 3D printers will — as many have observed sometimes a tad too breathlessly […]

Punch the Accelerator on Self-Driving Cars

The technology exists to save millions of lives. So why are regulators hitting the brakes? In a few years “autonomous drive” could be as common and inexpensive for car buyers as “hybrid drive” is today. Many of the predicate technologies are already in commercial use—adaptive cruise control, anti-lock brakes, rear-collision prevent, self-parallel-parking, rollover stability, pedestrian […]

America’s Shale Boom Is A Major Job Creator

Silicon Valley may get better press, but in this period of dismal employment growth it’s the oft-maligned hydrocarbon sector that’s creating more jobs faster. The oil and gas boom is producing millions of jobs, and not just where you might expect. Employment is up 40% in the oil and gas fields since the recession began […]

U.S. Space Exploration, Once Championed By JFK, Faces Diminished Priority In Washington

“We choose to go to the moon” President Kennedy said on September 12, 1962 at Rice University.  It was a simple, telegraphic phrase in one of the greatest speeches in Presidential history.  Those seven words encompassed not just an idea or a program but an underlying philosophy.  Those seven words are now locked into history for how […]

America’s Unevenly Distributed Resurgence In Manufacturing Starts In The Shale Fields

Institute Director Mark Mills discusses the positive economic effects of the expanded production of domestic energy in Forbes.  Mills concludes: “The effects of the boom in the energy-intensive manufacturing ecosystem will inevitably ripple out, catalyzing more manufacturing both upstream and downstream.  New less energy-intensive manufacturing businesses will take advantage of the proximity to low-cost high-reliability supplies […]

Let’s unleash the North American energy colossus on NAFTA’s anniversary

Twenty years ago this month, a bipartisan congressional majority passed the North American Free Trade Act, enshrining the special relationship between United States, Canada and Mexico. Since then, all manner of goods have traversed the northern and southern borders without impediment, thanks to NAFTA. But only if those goods are carried on planes, trains or […]

Mills Testifies on North American Energy Exploitation

On October 29, Institute Director Mark Mills testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on The North American Energy Infrastructure Act. The testimony is available at  

American Technologists and Entrepreneurs Re-Set Russian Relations

Institute Director Mark Mills and Sir Tony Brenton, a Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge and formerly Britain’s Ambassador to Russia, consider U.S.-Russian relations and the role that exploitation of energy will have in a piece published by Real Clear Politics, The article follows: Unsurprisingly, oil prices are up in reaction to the Syrian mess. It’s worth keeping in […]

Time for the U.S. to Emulate Mexico

Institute Director Mark Mills considers recent changes in Mexico’s energy policy and suggests there are important lessons for the U.S. Mills argues that “and in a reversal of roles, Mexico is setting an example that the United States should follow: not just permitting, but encouraging, private investment in publicly controlled energy resources.”  See Time for […]

What Uses Less Energy: An iPhone or a Fridge?

Scientists agree that the cost of charging a smartphone is small, but they are bitterly divided over how much smartphones use when connected to the cellular network. MarketWatch’s Quentin Fottrell and Digital Power Group CEO Mark Mills join digits.    

Big Data’s Green Creds

Some anniversaries pass with little fanfare. The Altos, the world’s first personal computer, was invented 40 years ago by Xerox at their Silicon Valley PARC research labs. Seeing it inspired Steve Jobs to create the epoch-changing Mac which led in turn to the proliferation of billions of computers around the globe.

The Cloud Begins with Coal

An Overview of the Electricity Used by the Global Digital Ecosystem.

R.I.P. Peak Oil As Oil Drum Closes Down

Print publications go out of business because the well of subscribers willing to pay for paper by snail-mail dries up. But it’s rare for an on-line publication to close down because the well of ideas and content dries up.

Why Peak Oil Is a Myth

Institute Director Mark Mills discussing whether the world is running out of fossil fuels.      

Unleash the Energy-Export Revolution

On May 17, the Department of Energy (DOE) approved just the second license in America to export natural gas. Nineteen more applicants still wait. Yes, private businesses, willing to spend tens of billions of private capital, are lined up for a schoolyard game of “Mother May I” to get permission to export a product that the U.S. is uniquely good at manufacturing. So good, in fact, that America is now the world’s No. 1 producer, with no end in sight. What a world.

Big Data And Microseismic Imaging Will Accelerate The Smart Drilling Oil And Gas Revolution

Looking for good news in American innovation? Over the past five years, technology has improved the productivity of the typical oil or gas rig on America’s shale fields between 200 and 300 percent according to industry experts at Bentek. This stunning gain in energy yielded per dollar of capital explains why U. S oil production […]

THE CASE FOR EXPORTS: America’s Hydrocarbon Industry Can Revive the Economy and Eliminate the Trade Deficit

The world has changed since the passage of the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act, a law that set the tone for energy policy for nearly a half-century. Technology and demographics have eviscerated old ideas of limits and import dependency. Given the new abundance, the United States now has the opportunity to become a major energy exporter.

We Need a 21st Century Energy Policy

The newly sworn-in Energy Secretary has taken a go-slow posture on natural gas exports. This, after the U.S. has just blown past Russia to become the world’s largest producer. And America will shortly occupy the number one position in oil production as well. This nation is poised to become a major hydrocarbon exporter to an energy-hungry world.

California Could Be the Next Shale Boom State

Could 2013 find California lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown finally making the connection between fiscal challenges and energy markets? The Golden State is well positioned to become an exporter of hydrocarbons and enjoy a gusher of oil revenues. While many Californians will find that hard to contemplate, ideology bends more easily than the laws of physics and the imperatives of economics.

Information Technology Has Created a New Electric Demand Paradigm

Since the days of Thomas Edison and his New YorkCity Pearl Street Station, the first central plant to produce commercial electricity, economists and policymakers have considered growth in electricity demand a core economic bellwether. That’s because the demand

Liberating the Energy Economy: What Washington Must Do

The United States is the largest single supplier of grains, accounting for about 40 percent of global exports. We enjoy the associated trade, jobs, and revenue benefits that come from being the world’s breadbasket.

The Efficiency Wall and the Future of the Internet’s Energy Cost

As the use of the Internet continues to grow and massive computing facilities are demanding that performance keep doubling, devoting corresponding increases in the nation’s electrical energy capacity to computing may become too expensive” — The Future of Computing Performance: Game Over or Next Level? 2011, National Academy of Sciences

Bravo New York Times For Discovering Reality in ‘Power, Pollution and The Internet’

This past Sunday, investigative journalists at The New York Times created something of a furor in the dweeb-o-sphere with a lengthy article titled Power, Pollution and the Internet: The Cloud Factories.

Welcome to Earth Where Networks Gobble Power – and Coal

Set aside the tortured effort needed to come up with the acronym “EARTH” — Energy AwareRadio and neTwork tecHnologies – the EU’s project was motivated by a simple fact:

Can the U.S. Become a Leader in Energy Exports?

Marshall Institute Director and Digital Power Group President Mark Mills on how the U.S. can boost energy production to become a leading exporter. View video at on Fox Business website via Fox

Unleashing the North American Energy Colossus: Hydrocarbons Can Fuel Growth and Prosperity

Technology is unleashing North America’s abundant energy resources. But rather than taking advantage of this new energy reality, policymakers have focused instead on investing in “alternative” forms of energy without much return. Mark Mills, a director of the George C. Marshall Institute, argues in his new report that developing the full potential of our vast hydrocarbon resources could generate trillions of dollars in revenues, as well as millions of new jobs. More, it could reset the geopolitical landscape with the United States as the world’s leading energy exporter.

New, Pivotal Tech Revolution in the Offing?

It’s a presidential election year. The economy is limping along. Real estate and the job market are terrible. Graduates are despondent. The big innovations that changed the world over the past several decades are behind us. Sound familiar? Welcome to America in 1980. Not a soul imagined then that technology would ignite two decades of […]

On the Precipice of the Next Great Growth Cycle and America’s Technological Future

Institute Director Mark Mills delivered “On the Precipice of the Next Great Growth Cycle and America’s Technological Future” at the Gulf Coast Power Association.

Rating Yelp as a Bellwether of the Social Media Tech Boom

Yelp’s [NYSE:YELP] successful IPO this past Friday was a modern validation of an age-old economic precept. People migrate to better and cheaper ways to do things they like to do. People like shopping and going to restaurants. And technology drives those trends. Social media is the new Mega Mall, the most effective way for retail to connect with consumers and customers — “friends.”

Storage Wars Expand With Google Ready to Compete With Carbonite and Dropbox

One of comedian George Carlin’s great riffs was about our propensity to cherish and store “stuff.” We all like to store stuff.

Responding to Oreskes and Conway’s Merchants of Doubt

In 2010, Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway published Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming.   The book disparages the Marshall Institute and its founders, Dr. Frederick Seitz, Dr. Robert Jastrow, and Dr. William Nierenberg. George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication honored Dr. Oreskes […]

Magnetic North: The Canadian (Mining) Miracle

In child psychology birth order is often considered significantly determinative. Younger siblings often learn lessons watching the elder ones, well, screw up. Canada is almost a full century younger than its North American sibling. What exactly is going on above the 49th parallel? First quarter 2011 my Canadian brethren and sisters (full disclosure, je suis Canadien) delivered a 3.9 percent GDP growth rate against an enervating 1.8 percent U.S. rate. Just a few short years ago, nobody would have predicted this.

From Oil Sands and Cornfields to Server Farms: Principles to Consider When Formulating Energy Policy

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