A PRIMER ON GASOLINE PRICES Written by Pierre Schexneider M. Ed.
Gasoline, one of main products refined from crude oil, accounts for just about 17 percent of energy consumed in United States. The primary use for gasoline is in automobiles and light trucks. Gasoline also fuels boats, recreational vehicles, farm equipment and various type of other equipment. While gasoline is produced year-round, extra volumes are made in time for summer driving season. Gasoline is delivered from oil refineries mainly through pipelines to a massive distribution chain serving 167,000 retail gasoline stations throughout United States. There are three main grades of gasoline: regular, mid-grade, and premium. Each grade has a different octane level. Price levels vary by grade, but price differential between grades is generally constant. What are components of retail price of gasoline? The cost to produce and deliver gasoline to consumers includes cost of crude oil to refiners, refinery processing costs, marketing and distribution costs, and finally retail station costs and taxes. The prices paid by consumers at pump reflect these costs, as well as profits (and some- times losses) of refiners, marketers, distributors, and retail station owners.
In 2003, price of crude oil averaged $28.50 per barrel, and crude oil accounted for about 44% of cost of a gallon of regular grade gasoline. In comparison, average price for crude oil in 2002 was $24.09 per barrel, and it composed 43% of cost of a gallon of regular gasoline. The share of retail price of regular grade gasoline that crude oil costs represent varies somewhat over time and among regions.
2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer SS Plus the Chevrolet Performance and Aftermarket PartsWritten by Jenny McLane
As first truck developed by GM’s Performance Division, Trailblazer SS’ has a towing capacity up to 6,700 pounds with two-wheel drive model and up to 6,500 pounds with available all-wheel drive model. Cargo volume is 41 cubic feet (1161 liters) behind rear seat and 80 cubic feet (2265 liters) with rear seat folded.
GM's High Performance Vehicle Operations tuned suspension and upgraded brakes of SS. It features stiffer springs, an inch lower ride height, and thicker anti-roll bars, as well as standard StabiliTrak stability control. Larger, 12.8-inch diameter front brake discs are fitted, allied to new iron twin-piston calipers, while monster twenty-inch aluminum wheels have 255/50 V-rated tires. The TrailBlazer SS has unique exterior styling and specific interior appointments, including prominent 20-inch flangeless wheels. Power is delivered by Corvette-derived LS2 6.0L V-8, enabling a 0-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds. A performance suspension with lowered ride height also is part of package and was tuned by GM’s Performance Division at several racetracks, including Germany’s legendary Nurburgring – a challenging road course that features more than 12.5 miles of turns and drastic elevation changes. The TrailBlazer SS is available in two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The four-wheel disc braking system of TrailBlazer SS is enhanced with larger, 12.8-inch front disc brake rotors and new, iron twin-piston calipers. The heavy-duty iron calipers are stiff and retain their shape under high pressure/high heat braking conditions, providing a linear feel and reduced pedal travel in high-energy stops. The brake pads use same high-performance linings as Corvette for strong fade resistance. ABS is standard. There also is an accessory front brake-cooling package available for optimized track performance. Chevrolet's engineers did extensive chassis tuning to Trailblazer SS where they lowered suspension 1-inch and add 25% stiffer springs. The ride height has been lowered about an inch using 25 percent stiffer for a firmer ride and reducing body roll, and to give TrailBlazer SS a lower, more aggressive demeanor.
The SS model remains distinct with black-diamond grille, decklid spoiler, and generally looking more like NASCAR cars Gordon campaigns. It has 20-inch polished aluminum wheels and four-wheel disks (12.8-inch rotors at front). StabiliTrak and a rear air-leveling suspension are also standard for SS.