Salem, OR — In the first change to laws that were put in place in 1951, the Oregon State Legislature has voted to abandon the requirement that only gasoline station attendants can pump gas, and require that customers do it. The controversial bill passed both government houses and the governor has promised to sign it.
Until this recent law, Oregon and New Jersey are the only remaining “Pump For Me” states. Back in 1951, when Oregon first mandated that only trained station workers could put “Class 1 flammable liquids” into cars, the state mainly didn’t want people accidentally blowing things up. Even after gas station technology improved, the argument was extended to include employment considerations and interesting provisions worrying that small children and the elderly would be put at “unreasonable discomfort” if forced to pump their own gasoline. According to recent studies, this no-pump requirement added an additional 3-5 cents to each gallon of gasoline.
Although Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek opposed the legislation, she was pragmatic about its passing.
“This is an election year,” said speaker Kotek on the steps of the Oregon Capitol Building. “We have to pick and choose our battles carefully. Mike [Republican Minority Leader Mike McLane] was really pushing this Bill through. And the people of Oregon have said over and over again that they want cheaper gas. Voting against something like this would not be prudent during an election year.”
According to people from both California and Washington, this change is long overdue.
“Finally Oregon is joining the 21st Century,” said Weed, CA Motel 6 owner Gautam Maharaj. “Every time I visit our Roseburg [Oregon] location, I get yelled at for pumping my own gasoline. This is welcomed news.”
According to the Oregon Bill, which is called “The Stay in Oregon Gasoline Act of 2016,” it states in its preamble that along with lower gas prices another of its goals is to keep Oregonians from going out of State to purchase gasoline, which is a common practice in large cities like Portland. The bill is expected to be signed next week by Governor Kate Brown (D) and take effect in August of 2017, just in time for the solar eclipse. No word as of this writing if New Jersey plans on following this action.