Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Gasoline Alley

 

The deep, deep-blue state of Oregon was settled by heroic pioneers who crossed the vast interior of the country in primitive wagons facing deprivation, harsh weather, and violent attacks from indigenous peoples. Their descendants now panic at the thought of pumping their own gasoline.

Oregon is one of two states where self-service gas stations have been illegal (New Jersey is the other). Motorists are not allowed to pump their own gas because the act of putting gasoline into an automobile is one of those highly technical, very tricky tasks that requires a highly trained professional fuel handler to perform, according to their elected officials. (I’m surprised they don’t require their pump jockeys to finish a two-year degree and an extensive certification process.) However, Oregon recently passed a law allowing some gas stations in the hick parts of the state to offer self-service.

Hilarity, in the form of Facebook comments from panicked liberals, ensued:

I don’t even know HOW to pump gas and I am 62, native Oregonian…..I say NO THANKS! I don’t want to smell like gasoline!

I’ve lived in this state all my life and I REFUSE to pump my own gas. I had to do it once in California while visiting my brother and almost died doing it. This a service only qualified people should perform. I will literally park at the pump and wait until someone pumps my gas. I can’t even.

Not a good idea, there are lots of reason to have an attendant helping, one is they need a job too. Many people are not capable of knowing how to pump gas and the hazards of not doing it correctly. Besides I don’t want to go to work smelling of gas when I get it on my hands or clothes. I agree Very bad idea.

Yuck! Pumping my on fuel in freezing temperatures and handling a nasty ole fuel nozzle that 50 other people have touched that day (and who knows what cooties are on there), no thank you. It’s nice to not have to pump your own fuel.

No! Disabled, seniors, people with young children in the car need help. Not to mention getting out of your car with transients around and not feeling safe too. This is a very bad idea. Grrr

There are 51 comments.

  1. Randy Webster Member

    I’m surprised those of us in less enlightened states are still alive.

    • #1
    • January 2, 2018, at 11:35 AM PST
    • 21 likes
  2. Hoyacon Member

    If they pump it for you, you can’t fill it waaaay up to the top to increase cruising range. Just stop asking me to input the zip code. That got old quick.

    • #2
    • January 2, 2018, at 11:39 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  3. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    For what it’s worth, the “I almost died pumping my own gas” guy appears to be someone who enjoys trolling comment threads.

    • #3
    • January 2, 2018, at 11:51 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  4. PHCheese Member

    My uncle owned his own Gulf Gas Station before self-serve. He and another fellow pumped the gas for many years.They probably pumped a thousand times as much gas as your typical self- serve customer . If you guessed that they both died of cancer you would be correct. Too much exposure.

    • #4
    • January 2, 2018, at 12:01 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  5. tigerlily Member

    I haven’t been to Oregon for a few years; but, every time I do drive there the law prohibiting people from pumping their own gas is incredibly frustrating and annoying.

    • #5
    • January 2, 2018, at 12:14 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  6. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I LOVE going to states that don’t let me pump gas, as full service has all but disappeared. I HATE pumping gas, for many of the reasons stated. Fortunately, I have a very, VERY kind husband who does it for me.

    • #6
    • January 2, 2018, at 12:36 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  7. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    If Oregonians love having their gas pumped for them so much, surely many stations will continue to offer full-service. If Oregonian motorists are like motorists in most states, the majority will prefer to pump their own if it saves them some money.

    • #7
    • January 2, 2018, at 1:17 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  8. Randy Webster Member

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    If Oregonians love having their gas pumped for them so much, surely many stations will continue to offer full-service. If Oregonian motorists are like motorists in most states, the majority will prefer to pump their own if it saves them some money.

    That’s the whole issue, isn’t it? What’s an attendant add to the price of a gallon of gas? I’d just as soon pump it myself for $0.15/gallon.

    • #8
    • January 2, 2018, at 1:36 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  9. ctlaw Coolidge

    I liked this one:

    Where am I supposed to put my beer when pumping gas?

    @dougwatt, Portland

    • #9
    • January 2, 2018, at 1:41 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  10. Typical Anomaly Inactive

    It seems the OP’s examples of hilarity major on the feelz and ignore the reality of life in the other 48 states and some rural areas of OR. Nothing wrong with liking full service, but legislating it is way over the top.

    I would like to think the examples given were highly selective, but my Rust Belt roots make me doubt that common sense is epidemic.

    On my first driving trip through NJ, I pulled up to a pump, opened my tank and started pumping. Yes, someone ran out yelling at me that it was against the law. So I just stood there near my out-of-state plate waiting for some kind of remark. The guy just stared at the ground until he could take my payment.

    He was no dummy, he knew the law was a crock.

    • #10
    • January 2, 2018, at 1:48 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Randy Webster (View Comment):
    I’m surprised those of us in less enlightened states are still alive.

    You just think you’re happy because you are high on fumes.

    • #11
    • January 2, 2018, at 1:52 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  12. ctlaw Coolidge

    Shouldn’t there be a law requiring a professional plug all electric cars in?

    • #12
    • January 2, 2018, at 1:57 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  13. Randy Webster Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):
    I’m surprised those of us in less enlightened states are still alive.

    You just think you’re happy because you are high on fumes.

    I love the smell of gasoline in the morning. It smells like cheaper gas.

    • #13
    • January 2, 2018, at 2:03 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  14. Qoumidan Coolidge

    I deliberately avoid getting gas in Oregon. The lines are long and the attendants take forever. How they haven’t fully changed this stupidity yet, I can’t fathom.

    • #14
    • January 2, 2018, at 2:11 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    In driving in Ohio, Pennsylvania, NJ, and NY in recent years, oddly NJ, the state with mandated pump jockeys, has the cheapest gas. If not cheapest of the 4, then comparable to Ohio and certainly cheaper than PA and NY. Someone explain that one.

    • #15
    • January 2, 2018, at 2:20 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  16. Hoyacon Member

    Qoumidan (View Comment):
    I deliberately avoid getting gas in Oregon. The lines are long and the attendants take forever. How they haven’t fully changed this stupidity yet, I can’t fathom.

    You need to try the Jersey Turnpike. I’ve never done Oregon, but have supreme confidence that the Turnpike pumpers would win a slow-a-thon (unless you tip them first, which is part of the point). Perhaps we need an East v. West tournament.

    • #16
    • January 2, 2018, at 2:34 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  17. Randy Webster Member

    Caryn (View Comment):
    In driving in Ohio, Pennsylvania, NJ, and NY in recent years, oddly NJ, the state with mandated pump jockeys, has the cheapest gas. If not cheapest of the 4, then comparable to Ohio and certainly cheaper than PA and NY. Someone explain that one.

    So much of the price of gas is the taxes. I think in TN we have about $0.40 combined federal and state taxes on gas. The governments make a lot more money off gas than the gas companies do.

    • #17
    • January 2, 2018, at 2:51 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  18. ctlaw Coolidge

    Caryn (View Comment):
    In driving in Ohio, Pennsylvania, NJ, and NY in recent years, oddly NJ, the state with mandated pump jockeys, has the cheapest gas. If not cheapest of the 4, then comparable to Ohio and certainly cheaper than PA and NY. Someone explain that one.

    Lower gas taxes.

    Why lower gas taxes, you ask? Consider also the example of state liquor stores in New Hampshire undercutting MA. The NJ gas station attendants, like the employees of the state liquor stores, have political power. They, or their unions, are concerned with maximizing jobs, not maximizing revenue from the gas or alcohol taxes. Low prices = sales volume = jobs.

    • #18
    • January 2, 2018, at 2:56 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  19. Hoyacon Member

    Caryn (View Comment):
    In driving in Ohio, Pennsylvania, NJ, and NY in recent years, oddly NJ, the state with mandated pump jockeys, has the cheapest gas. If not cheapest of the 4, then comparable to Ohio and certainly cheaper than PA and NY. Someone explain that one.

    Likely no more. Jersey had a major gas tax increase in late 2016 thanks to a deal between Christie and the Dems.

    • #19
    • January 2, 2018, at 3:17 PM PST
    • Like
  20. Full Size Tabby Member

    I attended school for three years in Oregon, and found it terribly frustrating. More recently, I travelled there several times a year, and always had to be sure to allow even more time than usual to return my rental car at the airport since it often took quite a while (even at 4:00 in the morning) to get the attention of the gasoline jockey.

    • #20
    • January 2, 2018, at 4:27 PM PST
    • 1 like
  21. James Lileks Contributor

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    They probably pumped a thousand times as much gas as your typical self- serve customer . If you guessed that they both died of cancer you would be correct. Too much exposure.

    FWIW, my dad had (has, actually) his own station as well, and has hauled fuel oil since about 1947; he’s 92 and hale.

    • #21
    • January 2, 2018, at 4:28 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  22. Full Size Tabby Member

    A fellow student with our daughter in college grew up in New Jersey and had no idea how to pump her own gas. So, our daughter and her friends undertook an education in the practical skills.

    • #22
    • January 2, 2018, at 4:29 PM PST
    • Like
  23. ctlaw Coolidge

    What happens when you pump your own gas:

    • #23
    • January 2, 2018, at 4:34 PM PST
    • 1 like
  24. Pilli Inactive

    The auto maker Fisker (I know. You never heard of them.) Just patented a new battery technology that will allow up to 500 miles on a charge and with their new charger, re-fresh in a minute. You will drive in to a “Filling Station” put your credit card into the reader and when it’s authorized your battery will be charged from a plate under your car that requires no wires. A green light will tell you when you’re “full”. You’ll get a receipt and you drive off.

    What will Oregonians complain about then? Huh? Huh?

    BYW…The batteries are cheaper, lighter and much safer than those used in cars today.

    • #24
    • January 2, 2018, at 4:37 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  25. doulalady Member
    doulalady Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I have never pumped gas. It’s my one achievable goal. Everybody needs an achievable goal, right?

    I have lots of hilarious, and some hair-raising, memories associated with my achieving of my achievable goal.

    • #25
    • January 2, 2018, at 4:41 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  26. ctlaw Coolidge

    Pilli (View Comment):
    The auto maker Fisker (I know. You never heard of them.) Just patented a new battery technology that will allow up to 500 miles on a charge and with their new charger, re-fresh in a minute. You will drive in to a “Filling Station” put your credit card into the reader and when it’s authorized your battery will be charged from a plate under your car that requires no wires. A green light will tell you when you’re “full”. You’ll get a receipt and you drive off.

    What will Oregonians complain about then? Huh? Huh?

    BYW…The batteries are cheaper, lighter and much safer than those used in cars today.

    No.

    They claim to have filed a patent application. Everything else is qualified puffery.

    Consider a Tesla Model S has a 100kWh battery pack and gets like 300 miles of range. For 500 miles, assume 150kWh is required. To charge that in 1/60 of an hour requires 9MW of power.

    If the charging is 90% efficient, you are throwing off 900kW of heat.

    • #26
    • January 2, 2018, at 4:53 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  27. Painter Jean Member

    I had no idea self-serve was illegal in some states. How ridiculous that this has to be regulated – if there’s enough demand from people like those commentors, there will likely be stations willing to accommodate them.

    I’m old enough to remember when full service was the norm here in Minnesota. My Dad would drive up to the pump, and a guy would not only pump gas, but check the oil and wash the windows. If a tire looked low, they would check that too. At the conclusion, they would come to Dad’s window with one of those credit card slides – I remember the distinct ka-choonk sound it made.

    It’s been below zero for days here. I would love to have that full service available again for times like these.

    • #27
    • January 2, 2018, at 5:19 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  28. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    A guy told me he was in the clink for pumping gas, but I thought it was a euphemism.

    • #28
    • January 2, 2018, at 5:48 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  29. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    They probably pumped a thousand times as much gas as your typical self- serve customer . If you guessed that they both died of cancer you would be correct. Too much exposure.

    FWIW, my dad had (has, actually) his own station as well, and has hauled fuel oil since about 1947; he’s 92 and hale.

    The cigarettes counteract the fumes. Add beer and you can see how the word “synergy” came about.

    • #29
    • January 2, 2018, at 5:52 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  30. lowtech redneck Coolidge

    Wow, I never even knew this was a thing.

    • #30
    • January 2, 2018, at 5:54 PM PST
    • Like