PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A bill that would grant Oregonians the option of pumping their own gas rather than being required to have an attendant pump it for them passed a House vote Monday and is now scheduled for a first reading in the Senate.
House Bill 2426 is a bipartisan bill with chief sponsors Rep. Shelly Boshart Davis, R-Albany; Rep. Julie Fahey, D-Eugene; Sen. Daniel Bonham, R-The Dalles; and Sen. Janeen Sollman, D-Hillsboro.
The bill would change Oregon law and require gas stations around the state to allow customers to pump their own gas if they choose. It would require that gas cost the same amount no matter what service a person chooses and would not allow stations to have more self-service pumps than they have attendant-service pumps.
According to the bill, businesses would need to have clearly visible signs that indicate which pumps are designated for self-service and which are for attendant service.
Currently, Oregon’s gas laws are somewhat inconsistent depending on the county. Laws have been passed allowing drivers in Oregon’s most rural counties to pump their own gas and in coastal counties, people can pump their own gas during certain hours at gas stations that don’t have convenience stores.
Diesel drivers can pump their own gas and motorcyclists can pump their own gas, but only if a gas station attendant hands the pump to them.
However, even with these exceptions, Oregon still remains one of only two states that does not allow all drivers to pump their own gas.
“This bill would dramatically simplify this regulatory patchwork,” Boshart-Davis said ahead of the House vote. “Under House Bill 2426A, Oregonians in counties where self-serve is now illegal would have the choice to pump their own gas or have an attendant pump it for them.”
Both she and her co-sponsor Fahey brought up how workforce shortages have affected gas stations in recent years and said this bill will allow stations to open more pumps for customers.
“Giving stations the option to have some of those closed pumps be open for self-service would benefit consumers, station owners and workers,” Fahey said. “Giving consumers a choice in this way just seems like common sense to me.”
Rep. Kevin Mannix, a Republican from Marion County, voted in favor of the bill but spoke after its reading, saying he’s concerned that passing the bill will lead to gas station attendants losing their jobs.
Rep. Jami Cate, a Republican from Lebanon, also spoke and said she asked her constituents for their thoughts on the bill and after hearing from them, she decided to vote against it. She said her constituents are worried about how the change would impact people with disabilities and people who don’t feel safe getting out of their vehicles to pump their gas at night.
The bill passed the House with a vote of 47-10. It will have its first reading in the Senate on Tuesday, March 21.