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Free at Last: Oregonians May Soon be Able to Legally Pump Their Own Gas

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Ed Helms Daily Show skit Pump My Ride

A harrowing portrayal of the dangers involved in pumping one’s own gas

Believe it or not, the strangest thing about Oregon isn’t Portland—it’s the fact that Oregonians are legally prohibited from pumping their own gas. Oregon is one of only two states where self-service gas stations are against the law (the other being New Jersey).

Why, you ask? Well, defenders of the law say that pumping your own gas is too dangerous for the average motorist. And while there have admittedly been some notable mishaps when amateurs are at the pumps, for the most part, citizens in the other 48 states seem to be plenty capable of pumping their own gas while keeping deadly gasoline fights down to a minimum.

Gas Fight!

Gas Fight!

The other (more plausible) explanation is that the law creates lots of jobs for gas station attendants. And while that may be true, those jobs are entirely superfluous, and they comprise an entire labor force that contributes nothing to society—meaning gas station attendants are essentially Kardashians that make minimum wage.

Fortunately, a new piece of legislation that was just passed unanimously by the Oregon House of Representatives may go a little ways towards loosening the state’s strict restrictions on self-pumping (but just a little). The law would make it legal for gas station operators in remote sections of the state to keep their stations open when no owner, operator, or attendant is around to pump the gas.

Of course, the law would be limited to counties that have fewer than 40,000 residents, and would probably only come into effect late at night when nobody’s minding the store—but still, it’s a step in the right direction for Oregonians who have long been denied the God-given right to pump their own gas.

Anyway, this is as good a time as any to rewatch that classic Daily Show bit in which Ed Helms investigates the dangers of self-service pumps. Enjoy:

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