For decades, motorists in Oregon have been enjoying the luxury of having someone else fill up their gas tank, but soon, they'll get to experience the "thrill" of doing it for themselves. Lawmakers have just given the green light to House Bill 2426, ending the ban on self-serve gas stations that's been in place since the 1950s.
But don't worry if you prefer to keep your hands clean — the bill requires that gas stations keep at least half their pumps staffed for folks who still want someone else to do it.
Fuel companies have long pushed for the change, saying it's getting harder to staff fuel pumps. The Northwest Grocery Association argued earlier this year that the bill wouldn't eliminate jobs because half the pumps at most gas stations are already closed for lack of staffing.
Some drivers, too, have clamored for the opportunity to skip the wait for an available attendant — even as others have just as forcefully argued that full-service gas stations are a convenience that the state should preserve.
The bill, which passed the House in March, now goes to Gov. Tina Kotek to be signed into law. It would take effect immediately once signed.
The legislation would end Oregon's long run as one of two states that require attendants to pump gasoline, the other being New Jersey.
Interestingly, fuel stations in Oregon will not be allowed to charge different prices at self-serve and attended pumps. Now, I've lived in a state that offered both and the self-serve option was always cheaper. I wonder why this is different.