Oregon has officially joined nearly every other state in the US by allowing drivers to pump their own gas. Governor Tina Kotek signed House Bill 2426 into law on Friday morning, ending a decades-old ban on self-serve gasoline. The bill had bipartisan support, but it has been one of the most polarizing issues in the state.
Prior to signing the bill, Governor Kotek sought public input and received thousands of emails from Oregonians expressing their opinions. The new law permits gas station owners statewide to open some unattended pumps, giving drivers the option to pump their own gas and skip the wait for an attendant if they choose.
However, the law still requires gas stations to have at least half of their pumps staffed for those who prefer or require assistance, such as elderly drivers or individuals with disabilities. Additionally, prices must be the same at both self-serve and staffed gas pumps. It’s important to note that the station has it offer self-service. Meaning Oregonian’s are not allowed to self-pump at stations that do not offer it.
Fuel companies have assured that they won’t be laying off employees due to ongoing staff shortages that have stretched their attendant crews thin already. So, the introduction of self-serve options is not expected to result in job losses.
This law comes after certain rural and coastal Oregon counties legalized self-serve gas during the night starting in 2015, and since 2020, Oregon had temporarily allowed self-serve gas during heat waves and wildfires. The new legislation will simplify the rules and legalize self-serve gas everywhere in Oregon.
While some drivers welcome the chance to skip the wait and take control of refueling, others have argued that the state should maintain the convenience of full-service gas stations and preserve the jobs of attendants.
With the enactment of this law, Oregonians can now chose the flexibility of self-serve or service gas options, while gas station owners and attendants adapt to the changing landscape of the industry.