Barred from Pumping My Own Gas

July 28, 2017  •  1 Comment

Since my Prius gets such good gas mileage, I was several hundreds of miles into the state of Oregon before I realized that the process of pumping gas was different from other states.

After a long drive, I pulled into an Oregon gas station and got out of the car to stretch my legs and pump the gas. As I approached the pump, an attendant ran up to me and asked for my credit card. He informed me that I was not allowed to pump my own gas. I told him that I didn't realize I had pulled up to a full service pump--and that I would move my car. He replied that there wasn't a self-service gas station in the entire state!

So, as I stood right next to him, he swiped my credit card and then handed it back to me. He then filled my tank while I stood right there. When I asked him why this was necessary, he told me that it was all about job creation. I don't intend for this photography blog to contain political posts, but I can't understand how putting people to work providing a service that I don't want or need (with the resulting higher price of gas) can be a good thing in the long run.

Later, I learned through Wikepedia that a "1951 Oregon statue banning self-service gasoline lists 17 different justifications, including the flammability of gas, the risk of crime from customers leaving their car, the toxic fumes emitted by gasoline, and the jobs created by requiring mini service."

Vintage Shell Gas PumpVintage Shell Gas PumpVintage Shell gas station pump on US 101 (Olympic Highway) in downtown Aberdeen, Washington on August 6, 2013

Another thing I learned while traveling through Oregon is that the state doesn't have any sales taxes. The total charge for a large Diet Coke off the $1 Menu at McDonald's was exactly $1.

My aunt and uncle happened to be attending a conference in Eugene, Oregon while I was in Oregon. So, I drove to Eugene to meet them for breakfast. When my uncle picked up the check after breakfast, I told him that I would gladly pick up the sales tax!


New Jersey, same deal.
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