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Army Sgt. Peter Nall, of the 52nd Medical Battalion, fills up his car Thursday at Yongsan Garrison. Gas prices go up by 10 cents beginning in September.

Army Sgt. Peter Nall, of the 52nd Medical Battalion, fills up his car Thursday at Yongsan Garrison. Gas prices go up by 10 cents beginning in September. (Joseph Giordono / S&S)

Get gas coupons now and fill up that tank because the cost at the pump is going up Monday.

Rising gas prices in the States will boost prices about 10 cents a gallon in all grades at military exchange stations across Europe when September begins.

Prices skyrocketed in the past two weeks in the States because of supply shortages.

The cost of a gallon of gas has surpassed $2 in some stateside cities, pushing the national average to $1.83 per gallon, because of temporary refinery shutdowns caused by the massive East Coast and Midwest blackout. That, along with a major pipeline break in Arizona, caused supply disruptions, according to the Lundberg Survey, an independent market research company that monitors fuel prices.

For the first time since March, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, which oversees gas prices, will raise them.

Jeanne McDonald, AAFES spokeswoman, said that prices will climb and it would be smart to brace for the increase.

For example, the prices for super plus unleaded at military gas stations in Germany will increase to $1.971 per gallon from $1.881, and in the Netherlands the new price will be $1.885 per gallon, up from $1.794. The price of regular gasoline will increase by .094 cents, midgrade will jump .092 cents, premium will go up .090 cents and diesel is going up .046, but that still remains cheaper than in some stateside cities.

Phoenix had the highest leap in the nation with prices jumping 60.42 cents a gallon for regular gasoline. On Aug. 22, self-serve regular averaged $2.1425, the highest price in the States for that grade.

News reports said the past two weeks have seen the highest retail price increase since the Lundberg Survey began keeping record 50 years ago.

While prices at U.S. military pumps can vary from country to country, AAFES sets prices monthly based on the Department of Energy’s national average over the past four weeks, according to McDonald.

An additional dispensing cost tagged on to each gallon varies the country prices, she said.

AAFES advises customers to buy gas coupons now before they are charged 10 cents more a gallon on Sept. 1, when AAFES releases its new prices.

“We want to alert our customers to fill up or purchase fuel coupons prior to this coming Monday,” McDonald said.

In Turkey and the Azores, prices will remain unchanged because AAFES purchases fuel from suppliers through a different system.

In Spain, the Navy exchange sets the price based on the gas prices in the Norfolk, Va., region, said Kristine Sturkie, a spokeswoman for Navy exchange.

For Italy, the Navy sells gas coupons only, and does not set those prices. Price of gasoline in Italy is based on contract prices.

The United Kingdom prices mirror AAFES prices.

To keep an eye on stateside trends log on to the Department of Energy Web site at www.energy.gov.

— Sandra Jontz in Washington contributed to this report.

Some AAFES stations to accept expired coupons

DARMSTADT, Germany — Army and Air Force Exchange Service gas stations will continue to accept fuel coupons that are set to expire next month throughout Germany and the Netherlands. Esso stations are set to do the same throughout Germany only, as are BP and Aral stations on the autobahn there.

Though exchanges have accepted expired coupons in the past, private stations typically have not.

“This is a first,” said Jeanne McDonald, a spokeswoman for the exchange service. “… It’s a benefit for our customers.”

Fuel coupons labeled with an expiration date of Sept. 30 will still be accepted at the above locations through the end of January.

Also, as always, AAFES stations will refund the cost of the expired coupon books as long as the front and back covers are attached. Refunds are available a full year after the expiration date.

— Stars and Stripes

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