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Whether the European heat breaks records in August is anybody’s guess, but another record could discourage travel as summer slogs on.

The price of fuel purchased in Europe through the Army and Air Force Exchange Service will hit a new high Aug. 1, with the cost of a gallon of regular gasoline hitting $3.119 in Germany.

This is a rise of 7 cents per gallon over July, when the price fell 3 cents below the previous record high.

The news came Thursday in an AAFES news release, which also said midgrade and premium gas prices will go up 6.7 and 6.5 cents a gallon, respectively. Diesel will go up 1 cent.

In Germany, AAFES’ biggest petroleum market, the price of a 100-liter booklet of unleaded gas coupons will cost $82.40 in August. That’s a modest increase over July’s cost of $80.60 for the same booklet.

“They’ve got until Monday to buy at July’s prices,” said Debbie Byerly, a spokeswoman for AAFES.

Senior Airman Jacob Wilson, who is based at Sembach Annex in Germany, joked that if gas prices get much higher, the Air Force will have to “add a few stripes” to his sleeves just so he can afford to get around.

“They’re getting way too high,” Wilson said of the soaring summer pump prices. “Seven cents a gallon? That makes a big difference.”

An AAFES news release blames the rising cost of fuel on increasing violence in the Middle East, which pushed the price of crude to a record $77 a barrel July 14.

According to the Department of Energy, the average price for regular unleaded fuel in the U.S. is 71.4 cents a gallon higher than it was a year ago.

AAFES sets its fuel prices according to the DOE’s monthly averages from across the continental U.S. for each grade of gasoline. Overseas, the costs of dispensing fuel and managing the gas coupon program are included in AAFES’ pump prices.

In some cases, the price of providing gas overseas is higher than the DOE averages and dispensing costs. When this happens, AAFES policy dictates that fuel be sold at cost, meaning AAFES makes no profit on the sale.

Midgrade and premium unleaded gasoline will be sold at cost in the Netherlands. Premium unleaded fuel will also be sold at cost in Turkey and the Azores.

Stars and Stripes reporter Scott Schonauer contributed to this report.


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