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Self-serve gas stations in Oregon causing uproar

Posted at 9:19 PM, Jan 03, 2018

For most Americans, learning how to pump gasoline is part of the experience of learning how to drive, but in Oregon, some are getting to pump their own gas for the first time... and are not happy about it. 

This is all thanks to a new state law that went into effect on Monday, allowing gas stations in rural parts of the state to offer self-serve gas pumps, according to the Bend Bulletin. The paper reported that gas stations in counties with fewer than 40,000 residents can offer self-service pumps from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Perhaps due to the uproar the change in the law has caused, some gas stations will still have an attendant on standby. 

“Honestly, I don’t think we’re going to make a change,” cashier Shelby Perkins of a 76 station in Prineville, Oregon told the Bulletin. “Our regular, longtime customers love coming here and talking to us while we pump their gas.”

Another gas station operator said self-service will remain optional. 

“We are going to take advantage of it,” Jeffrey Honeywell of a Shell station said last Thursday, according to the Bulletin. “But we will have someone where there are people that are going to need assistance.”

A Facebook poll posted by a TV station in Oregon has gone viral, with nearly 50,000 comments. Many of those who commented are not happy with the change in law in Oregon.

"Disabled, seniors, people with young children in the car need help," Cathy Dahl wrote on KTVL-TV's Facebook page. "Not to mention getting out of your car with transients around and not feeling safe too. This is a very bad idea."

"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!" Sandy Franklin commented.

Others from across the United States responded to the post. 

"I'm in Wisconsin and with the wind chill it's currently -17. You know what I did this morning?! Had to pump my own flipping gas!! It's not that hard people!!" Ashleigh Wyman wrote.

Oregon is not the only state that has a law prohibiting self-service stations. New Jersey continues to require an attendant at the pump during fueling.