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The American Petroleum Institute (API) reports total petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) fell by 0.5 percent in July, compared to the same month in 2010. Though miniscule, July marks the first time in 2011 that deliveries actually dropped when compared to the previous month. Perhaps more importantly, gasoline demand hit a ten-year low for the month of July. Once again, we turn to the words of API chief economist, John Felmy, to make sense of the situation:

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Energy analyst Charles Maxwell of Weeden & Co. sat down to discuss peak oil, alternative energy and the future cost of a barrel of crude with Index Universe managing editor Olivier Ludwig recently. Maxwell, a man who has been involved in the oil industry for more than half a century, is pretty sure that peak oil is nearly upon us. Maxwell's vision of a world forever changed by dwindling petroleum supplies is startling, so let's hope it's not entirely accurate.

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The U.S. military thinks we're one step closer to peak oil, the point at which oil demand will forever outstrip oil supply, and therefore we're one step closer to fighting over the last rusting cans of gasoline like so many scraps of meat. On the plus side, we're also one step closer to finally equipping our cars with superchargers and massive gas tanks rigged with explosives a la Mad Max and his archetypal peak-oil sled, "the last of the V-8 Interceptors."

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