Self serve gas stations in Oregon once again up for debate

PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — Oregon lawmakers are once again discussing a bill that would allow drivers to pump their own gas. House Bill 2426 would require gas stations to keep half their pumps for attendants.

“It gives Oregonians a choice on how they fuel their cars, it speeds up gas lines and eases staffing shortages,” said Republican Rep. Shelly Boshart during a hearing about the benefits of the bill last month.

Oregon is one of only two states that does not allow drivers to pump their own gas, the other is New Jersey. To move forward, the bill needs to pass the House committee vote later this week. From there it would need to clear both the full House and Senate and get the governor’s signature.

Matthew Warren, the general manager at Fast Trak Fuel Mart in Portland said this bill would really benefit gas stations.

“The gas stations in Oregon are already suffering from severe employee shortages.” Warren said. “It’s already hard to find people who are willing to pump gas.”

Louis Hernandez, who owns four gas stations in the Portland metro area said he has had trouble finding employees to pump gas as well. He’s hired homeless people to help out.

Hernandez testified last month that the labor shortage is the biggest stumbling block for gas stations.

“We’re all competing for the limited number of labor out there,” said Hernandez.

Drivers in Portland have mixed feelings about the bill with some saying they will always choose to have someone pump, and others want the choice.

“I would rather they did it so I don’t have to get out and pump gas,” said Cary Baker.

“I think it would make everything more convenient,” said Samantha Blacker. “I live next to a gas station and know how understaffed they are. It takes forever to get some gas in the morning.”

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