SALEM, Ore. — A bill introduced in the Oregon Legislature would allow self-service gas for everyone in Oregon.
House Bill 4151, a bipartisan measure introduced by Republican Rep. Shelly Boshart Davis and Democratic Rep. Julie Fahey, aims to address staffing shortages at gas stations by allowing drivers to fill up their own cars.
Similar measures have failed in the past, but lawmakers believe it has a chance this time. Republican Reps. Rick Lewis and Ron Noble and state Sen. Brian Boquist, as well as Democratic state Sen. Janeen Sollman have also signed on to sponsor HB 4151.
“There’s fuel stations across the state struggling to stay open, so I think the time is right now,” said Rep. Boshart Davis.
The bill also requires gas stations to keep a certain number of pumps reserved for full service — operated by an attendant — depending on how many total pumps the location has.
“What we’re trying to do is giver consumers choice, just like they have to go through self check at a grocery store,” said Gabriel Zirkle, the president of the Oregon Fuels Association.
He said the bill would allow stations to open earlier and stay open later, and would not change the price of gas.
It's a controversial topic in Oregon. The state is one of just two in the country that prohibit self-service gas, though Oregon has eased restrictions in recent years, allowing self-serve at gas stations in low-population counties and at night at the Oregon Coast. The state also allowed self-serve gas early in the pandemic, though that rule has since expired.
New Jersey is the only other state in the U.S. with such a law.
Oregon's 2022 short legislative session begins Feb. 1.