Consumers at the gas pump aren't the only ones suffering sticker shock: Military units in Iraq and elsewhere will see another hike in fuel costs next week, the second increase this budget year amid soaring oil prices. On July 1, the cost for refined fuel used by troops will jump 34% to more than double what the Pentagon was paying 3 years ago, the AP reports. The military estimates that every $1 increase in the market price per barrel translates into a $130-million rise in costs for US forces.
While the $400-million-a-month jump in fuel costs won't affect ongoing operations, it will impact a federal budget already stretched thin by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And some lawmakers say it's time for Iraq to use its soaring oil revenues to defray US costs. "The Iraqis continue to subsidize the fuel for their own citizens, but our troops, which are fighting side by side with them, continue to pay top dollar," Sen. Susan Collins tells the AP.