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Oregon bill would allow self-serve gas statewide


Would you pump your own gas, if you had the option?

Legislation introduced in the Oregon House this session would give all gas stations the option to introduce self-service pumps. As drafted, House Bill 3194 says up to 25 percent of pumps could be self-service. It also says gas stations cannot charge customers different amounts for using the self-service and full-service options.

The bill also says gas stations could not charge customers differing prices for the self-service and full-service options.

” Initially it sounds like a great idea, but pumping gas is high risk, ” Mike Mock, service manager at a 76 gas station in Bend, said Tuesday. ” It’s nice to have employees out there that can take care of that for you, make sure you get the right fuel, no kind of accidents or spills. ”

In 2017, a bill was enacted into law, allowing rural cities with populations under 40,000 to offer self-service pumps.

NewsChannel 21 spoke with a manager at a Shell station in Madras, where those self-service pumps are available. He said there has been an increase in customers since making the switch. He also said attendants like it because it eases their workload during busy times of day.

There are still several more populated areas of Central Oregon that don’t offer self-service pumps. On Tuesday, NewsChannel 21 asked customers in those areas if they would welcome the change.

” Why? We’ve been used to (full-service) all these years. It works just fine, ” Brian Berg said. ” I don’t want to get out of my car most of the time and do it myself and smell and have to worry about getting in and out and rushing for somebody else. ”

Kristi Rickman said, ” I would probably pump my own gas in good weather, but in bad weather I would probably come and have the service. ”

A 2014 public policy poll found Oregonians are evenly split on self-serve gas — 46 percent supported the state’s ban, while 44 percent were against it.

Those numbers changed with younger voters under the age of 45. In that group, 53 percent were in favor of self-serve gas, compared to 33 percent who preferred the full-service option.

T here was a public hearing for the bill last week. No further sessions have yet been scheduled.

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