Rural Oregon counties may soon see self-service gas

Bill sent to governor; Crook, Jefferson among 15

Self-service gas station in rural Oregon

MADRAS, Ore. - (Update: Comments from gas station attendants, others)

Pumping your own gas - any time, day or night - may soon be an option in nearly half of Oregon's 36 counties, including Crook and Jefferson counties in Central Oregon.

Currently Oregon and New Jersey are the only states with restrictions on self-service fill-ups.

The Oregon Senate gave final approval Tuesday to House Bill 2482, which allows self-service fueling in 15 rural counties, including Jefferson and Crook. 

Two years ago. a bill was passed to allow self-service between the hours of 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. in some counties including Tillamook, Curry and Clatsop

But this new law would expand that time frame to 24 hours.

The bill now goes to Gov. Kate Brown for her signature.

Supporters say the bill would help cut costs at rural gas stations that might close early instead of paying to staff full-service pumps.

But one gas station attendant said he doesn't support the bill because it could put his job on the line. 

Others don't think it will be a problem, including gas station attendant Lyn Kingslien.

"I think it's great. I don't feel threatened as far as my job," she said. "We still have a lot of cash-paying customers. We have a lot of disabled customers, senior citizens who don't want to get out of their car. They all need help, and they all like to have the help."

Others had different reasons for supporting the move.

"I think some of these people need to be a little bit more motivated to get better jobs." said Jeff Sikorski.

Stations would still be required to have at least one attendant between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.  and gas stations with convenience stores would also be required to provide full service. 

But customers could pump their own gas during the day if the attendant is busy, 

"As for the customer, they have a choice, and choice is always good," Kingslien said. "As far as the employees who are still working, I don't think they will be threatened too badly. There may be a few stations where people lose their jobs, but all in all I don't think the impact will be too bad."


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