Oregon May Allow Self-Service Gas For Rural Counties

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
oregon may allow self service gas for rural counties

There are two states in the U.S. where one is legally barred from pumping their own gas. One of those states, Oregon, may change this for some motorists.

While those visiting Portlandia will still have to let the attendant do all the work, Rep. Cliff Bentz of Ontario, Ore. is sponsoring a bill — HB 3011 — that would rescind the 64-year-old ban in rural areas where having someone ready to pump gas 24/7 is an impossibility, The Seattle Times reports. Bentz likens the issue to a similar instance affecting EV owners:

You go around eastern Oregon counties, you find more and more situations where there isn’t any fuel. And it’s not unlike the situation electric-car owners find themselves in now.

The measure, which was passed unanimously 60-0 in the state house, would apply to counties with fewer than 40,000 residents. The figure accounts for nearly all of eastern Oregon, and half of the state’s counties overall.

The self-service ban in Oregon goes back to 1951, and lists 17 reasons for existing, such as: proclaiming only trained professionals should pump gas; preventing discrimination against the poor, the elderly and the disabled; and providing employment, especially for young people. Attempts to rescind the ban have failed thus far, scaring legislators from proposing pro-self-service bills since 2003.

HB 3011 is awaiting a committee hearing in the state senate as of this writing.

[Photo credit: David Falconer/ U.S. National Archives and Records Registration/ CC PD 1.0]

Join the conversation
5 of 81 comments
  • Dal20402 Dal20402 on May 09, 2015

    I always make sure I'm full up before driving into Oregon. Attendants tend to be sloppy with the nozzle and bang it against the car, causing scratches.

    • JK43123 JK43123 on May 09, 2015

      Really? Must have missed that day in gas pumping school.

  • Healthy skeptic Healthy skeptic on May 10, 2015

    I'm gonna come right out and say it: The self-serve bans of OR and NJ are idiotic laws. I thought so at first glance, and I still think so after reading all the comments. Total make-work law if ever there was one. Good luck finding an economist who thinks they're a good idea.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on May 11, 2015

    You're not allowed to pump your own gas in Korea. There are always two or three younger guys working (never saw any women there, probably because this is a "dirty" job. They have their branded overalls and white gloves on, always made me feel like a Nascar driver approaching the pit! And you get a present when you buy gas. It might be a notebook, or a thing of tissues, or some stickers, or perhaps a toy or keychain. Always a different surprise!

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on May 11, 2015

    Also that Volvo 1__ or 2__ whichever it may be, looks very solid and expensive. You could easily put a Mercedes badge on the back of that thing.