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Cars are highly regulated items. These regulations go largely unnoticed by the average consumer. However, one of the most noticeable car-related regulations can only be found in one U.S. State as of this week. After 72 years, it is finally legal to pump your own gas in Oregon, leaving New Jersey as the only state in the Union where it is still illegal to pump your own gasoline

Can you pump your own gas in Oregon? 

Oregon just passed a new bill that will allow residents and travelers to pump their own gas for the first time in 72 years. Last Wednesday, lawmakers passed the bill that ended the ban on self-service fueling. According to CarScoops, House Bill 2426 passed in the House and Senate with a clear majority. That said, the House vote passed with 47-10, and the Senate vote passed with 16-9. My question is, who are the 19 lawmakers who voted to keep the ban? I digress.

While this bill legalizes self-service fueling across the state, in 2015, Oregon allowed residents in certain counties to fuel up their own cars at night in more rural areas. That Bill expanded through 2017. Thankfully, now, the freedom to pump your own fuel in Oregon is statewide. 

This change is something that passed with a healthy majority. That said, in efforts to not lay off thousands of gas station attendants across the state, stations are required to maintain attendants at at least half of the pumps. This change was promised by lawmakers not to affect fuel prices. 

Why are there so few people to work the pumps?

Since 2020, workers have slowly moved away from lower-paying service jobs for a pile of reasons. In Oregon, many gas station owners and managers are excited by the new Bill because of how many of them struggled to staff the mandatory workers to work the pumps. According to Oregon Live, one company, The Northwest Grocery Association, has been particularly vocal about how this change will barely affect unemployment. The company’s confidence comes from the fact that it had so few pump attendants that it can’t put too many people out of work. The company said that in many cases, the stations didn’t even have half of the pumps open due to a lack of workers. 

What states won’t let you pump your own gas? 

Petrol Pump held in the air by a disembodied hand.
Petrol Pump | Universal Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Assuming Oregon’s governor signs the Bill into law, New Jersey will be the last state where it is illegal to pump your own gas. 

For a long time, Jersey has had Oregon as its ride-or-die in this strange and purposeless fuel restriction. Now Jersey is left alone as the last and most annoying state (sorry, my New Yorker is coming out). 

Considering the reason why New Jersey won’t let people pump their own gas, we don’t see the Garden State changing anytime soon. Although, our thoughts and prayers are with the fine people of New Jersey as they now must travel this lonesome valley as the last holdout for illegal self-service fueling.