Many Oregonians outraged they now have to pump their own gas
12 January 2018, 09:46 | Kelvin Horton
On New Year's Day, a brand new law went into effect that would allow state residents in counties with less than 40,000 people to pump their own gas.
OR and New Jersey are the only two states with this as a law.
A post by KTVL - a TV station in Medford, Oregon - asking if the state should allow self-serve gas statewide apparently freaked out a lot of people.
Some commenters said they didn't want to pump their own gas because it's risky, they don't want to get out of their cars in the cold weather, they're anxious about transients, or because they're afraid of smelling like gas if they spill it on their hands or clothes. "I say NO THANKS!", one punter wrote angrily in response to a news story about the change, despite it not in fact being a poll. "Grrr", one woman wrote on Facebook.
As of Monday, the only other state in the U.S.to mandate full-service gas legalized self-service pumps in half of its counties.
"I grew up, born and raised in Washington, and I think it's silly that we can't pump our gas, or couldn't before", Andrew Hoggate of Lyle, Washington said.
At the same time, other reasons for station attendants cited in the statute are more far-fetched. Oregon's ban on self-service gas pumps dates back to 1951, when the state was concerned about untrained pump operators spilling fuel.
The law passed in May permits self-service gas pumping only in limited circumstances.
Bonus links: Read how crony corruption keeps New Jersey drivers from pumping their own gas.
Concerns ranged from not knowing how to pump gas to fears of smelling like gas or being attacked by hoodlums.
Victor Alvarado, a gas attendant said, "If you have the customers do it you're not going to have a job".
Pumping your own gas is unsafe, that's why I always keep a katana behind my seat to deal with transients. They just made it legal for gas stations to allow you to in certain rural areas.
KGW reporter Katherine Cook posted on Twitter on Wednesday about her adventures on a road trip to Colorado, which marked the first time she had to pump gas.
But beyond laughing at the hapless Oregonians, the news raises an interesting question: Why does OR even have gas station attendants in the first place?
For those offended by these jabs, check out this piece from Road & Track, which is more blunt than anything HuffPost has on Oregon's crisis new law. Yes, these jobs are low wage, but they still can get people employed overall.
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