Oregon’s Gas Pumping Apocalypse [VIDEO]

Oregon’s Gas Pumping Apocalypse [VIDEO]

Oregon’s Gas Pumping Apocalypse [VIDEO]

If you haven’t heard yet, the government of the state of Oregon recently did something horrible – they passed a law allowing Oregonians to pump their own gas! Two states – until recently – have forced gas stations to pay attendants to pump gas for customers.

What this really was is a jobs program for people too incompetent or lazy to do anything else. This is a version of the broken window fallacy (with the state breaking the imaginary window) coupled with social engineering. The government is creating a problem where there was none in order to create employment and force behavioral changes upon the populace. Had the gas station owner merely allowed the customers to pump their own gas, they would have spent less time and resources hiring dolts to do it for them, paying them, payroll paperwork, and other costs associated with this law that forces them to pass those higher costs onto the customer. Meanwhile, the customers are (in theory) less likely to fill up their cars at higher costs, which theoretically will lead to more use of public transportation, and is better for the environment. And those people are spending more money at the pump to pay the dolt to fill up their car when they could be using that disposable income to stimulate the economy.

In other words, the government mandated jobs for dolts program is only good for: higher prices, more paperwork, less disposable income, and less freedom.


Meanwhile, hilarity ensued on the Internet after KTVL posted the Associated Press article I linked above to their Facebook page and asked the public to react to the new law.

Poe’s law is at play here. I can’t figure out whether Oregonians are incompetent, barely functioning toddlers, who should have their metal utensils taken away by the state and barred from wearing shoes they have to tie, lest they accidentally throttle themselves with their shoelaces, or merely brilliant satirists.

Either way, the Great Gas Pump Apocalypse of 2018 has apparently begun. Can you imagine the havoc and chaos that could ensue if everyone merely parked their cars at the fuel pump and refused to leave until a gas station dolt came out and pumped their gas for them?

“I’ve lived in this state all my life and I REFUSE to pump my own gas. I had to do it once in California while visiting my brother and almost died doing it. This a service only qualified people should perform. I will literally park at the pump and wait until someone pumps my gas. I can’t even,” -Mike Perrone

And what about those poor Oregonians who have never had to pump their own gas? Would they even know where to stick the fuel nozzle?  (I have a couple of suggestions, but I digress.)

“I don’t even know HOW to pump gas and I am 62, native Oregonian…..I say NO THANKS! I don’t want to smell like gasoline!” – Sandy Franklin

And what about the poor gas station dolts who will likely be out of a job, now that gas station owners aren’t forced by the government to pay them at least $9.75 an hour to perform a task a drunken monkey could be trained to do?

How will they ever survive without the government mandating that they be hired? They will have to… *GASP* get skills, go to school, learn a trade, and find another job!

Oh, the humanity!

And what about the environment? With people now being allowed to pump their own gas, more people will be able to afford to fill up their cars, and then more of them might… DRIVE!

And then trees will die, endangered worms will go extinct, and swamps will dry up! We can’t have that!

And by the way, what if these same people filling up their cars had more disposable income? Oh. My. God. I can’t even! They might go out and spend it, which could result in economic growth, which would make the rich even richer, while the gas station dolts lose their jobs and starve. INCOME INEQUALITY! STARVATION! HAVOC!

And what if inexperienced Oregonians like Sandy Franklin do stick the fuel nozzle in the wrong place? What if they blow up their car and cause a fire?

And what if innocent Oregonians just sat there idling, waiting for the gas station dolt to come pump their gas for them forever? In limbo. Unable to move. Maybe Oregon can create jobs by hiring individuals to remove their desiccated carcasses from their vehicles after they’ve been festering there a while?

PEOPLE WOULD DIE! People would die without government mandates and intervention. Didn’t you get the memo?

And thus begins Oregon’s gas pumping apocalypse. Hide your children, crate your pets, and dig out that 500-page manual to your car, Oregonians. You will need it to figure out where your fuel tank is and how to open it.

Written by

Marta Hernandez is an immigrant, writer, editor, science fiction fan (especially military sci-fi), and a lover of freedom, her children, her husband and her pets. She loves to shoot, and range time is sacred, as is her hiking obsession, especially if we’re talking the European Alps. She is an avid caffeine and TWD addict, and wants to own otters, sloths, wallabies, koalas, and wombats when she grows up.

  • Without government, how will we know who’s qualified to pump gas?

    • Marta Hernandez says:

      And more importantly, who will force gas station owners to hire indolent, unskilled incompetents, who otherwise would be dwelling in their parents’ basements?

      • Bandit says:

        It’s not so much that as it is ‘Stop fixing that brake cylinder and fill up on 4’

      • James says:

        My Grandpa owned a gas station, and my Dad spent many a summers pumping gas when that was a standard, expected service. He was not an indolent, unskilled incompetent.

    • Marta Hernandez says:

      BTW – I’m a HUGE fan!

    • Micha Elyi says:

      By the way, speaking of the unqualified, this article is about a lame Oregon law yet the editor of this web site stuffs in a graphic that’s snarky toward California!

      Hating on California clearly dulls the intellect.

  • Johnny says:

    Holy helpless, Batman!
    I knew progressives weren’t necessarily the crunchiest chips in the bag, but seriously?
    Should these people really be trusted with voting?
    (Especially with paper ballots – pencils can be sharp!)

  • GWB says:

    I don’t want to smell like gasoline!
    If you can’t manage not to smell like gasoline, then you really are incompetent. Of course, if you’re that incompetent, I question the value of the state allowing you to continue to drive in the first place.

    I’ve had to stop on the turnpike in NJ for gas a couple of times. The first time I started to get out of the car, and the attendant scared me half to death (he was stepping up as I was opening the door and I rose out almost right into him). I told him that I would be fine pumping my own gas and I needed to stretch anyway. He informed me that he would get in trouble unless I was sitting in my car while he pumped. So, I sat.

    Another angle I haven’t seen anyone mention: can the gas stations charge different prices for self-service and full-service? (Yes, I’m old enough to remember those distinctions, and that there was a price difference.) The normal Marxist-inspired, anti-economics standard would be to not allow that, as it might provide an incentive to try the cheaper method. (And, we all know that incentives only work when they inspire anti-Marxist activities.) If they didn’t ensure that was in the legislation, then someone in Salem screwed up and let freedom out of the bag.

    • JeffS says:

      Stations can and do charge differently for full service and self-service. Happens all the time in the real world.

      • Steve says:

        Full Service vs Self Service. I remember the differently priced pumps, and always chose the Self Service one to save five or ten cents per gallon. But I cant remember the last time I saw a Full Service pump offering.

  • Appalled By The World says:

    Oh the humanity!

    At least it’s warmer there than in much of the country-pumping gas at 0 degrees is no fun.

  • Timmy says:

    I almost got arrested in NJ for trying to pump gas.

  • timh says:

    From the article:
    “Oregon is currently one of two states that does not allow customers to pump their gas.

    A law passed by the Legislature in May and signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown in June will allow Oregon counties with 40,000 residents or less to deviate from that.” THIS is what PortLandians are squeeling about? It doesn’t even APPLY to the Cities! AND the law does not ABOLISH Full Serve! It merely removes the BAN on Self Serve! Get a REAL issue, Haters….or rather, a LIFE! LOL!!!!!

  • Max says:

    Well, since I live in Oregon and all: the new law applies to rural communities only – and many station owners out in eastern Oregon have said that even though they can now go self-serve, they’re not going to. Meanwhile, up in Washington, which is all self-serve, gas prices are higher than they are down here. Theoretically, pumping your own is supposed to save you money – in reality, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    Funny how that works. In the meantime, I enjoy not having to leave the comfort of my heated car seats to get out and pump gas.

    • JeffS says:

      I live in Washington — gas prices are higher here because the state taxes the living heck out of gas, not because of self-service stations.


      Oh, and I routinely drive in Oregon. I can live with either, myself. TANSTAAFL!

    • JeffS says:


      Washington State gas taxes are #2 in the country.


      We’re even higher than Kalifornia.

    • Larry says:

      You remind me of the guy who, on his blog several years ago, posted graphs _proving_ to all and sundry that drilling for more gas and oil wouldn’t affect prices much here. Those graphs showed gas prices in Canada (average) and the US (average) moving up and down together in pretty good synchrony, except that Canada’s prices were higher than ours. Always. As if, (1) oil weren’t fungible and transportable in a global market, so of course markets move in synchrony, and (2) Canadian gas taxes are higher, so of course their pump prices were higher even though the base price might be similar (it’s not because it’s my understanding other taxes more hidden from the end consumer come into play since free health care isn’t actually free). Canada’s an oil-exporting nation, so he thought their prices should be lower there. Well, they would be lower if they lowered the taxes, but not lower than ours unless they had lower taxes, or couldn’t export as much they were pumping.

      He later retreated into claiming he knew that, and that we simply didn’t understand his point. He refused to clarify just what his point was, though. As if the original several paragraphs din’t lay it out in wonderfully Marxian detail.

      I’m glad you want to pay more to not lift your ass out of your comfortably heated seat.
      Why don’t you feel guilty for slaughtering polar bears and penguins? Because you KNOW (or should know) that frickin’ seat isn’t heated for free. It’s heated using energy produced by the relatively inefficient burning of hydrocarbons (in gas engines), with the additional lossy step of first converting mechanical to electrical energy. Now lets not imagine that forcing the poor and disadvantaged to pay more for gas so they can sit in their unheated seats in winter, or in summer with no working air conditioning (also wasteful of energy, you know) is a societal good because /you/ and other well-off people can afford it to vitue-signal.

      How about you let the market decide, and let stations have self-service for those who just can’t AFFORD to be so sanctimoniously smug, and full-service for the lazy and more well off? Or are you afraid people will make the WRONG choice? I think that’s what it probably is, in the end.

    • Tom says:

      Gas is more expensive in WA because the tax is higher than in OR.
      I travel regularly between both states and prefer to pump my own.
      All the arguments about self serve being unsafe are groundless. 48 states with self serve gas prove it.

    • Sam L. says:

      I suspect thaat’s because there’s a sales tax on that gas in Washington (which has no income tax) and not in Oregon (which has an income tax and no sales tax). I have no idea why there is a law against pumping your own gasoline. Maybe it’s the local Dems; Dems own the gummint in both states.

  • JeffS says:

    Here’s an interesting factoid — gas stations within Oregon, but operating on tribal reservations, generally offer self-serve. And have for years.

    Might have been the motivation for Krazy Kate to sign such an unprogressive bill. Or maybe a precursor to start raising the taxes. Like Washington.

  • John says:

    Lots of states had the self-serve ban in effect until after the 1973 OPEC oil embargo, when gas prices doubled (from about 30 to 60 cents a gallon). The removal of the ban was a way for politicians to make angry drivers happy, because it opened up more options for discount gas sales without service station attendants (there were virtually no convenience stores that sold fuel prior to 1974 — ones the bans were lifted, 7-11 and other c-stores across the country rushed to put in fuel pumps, and people rushed to use them in order to cut their gas costs by 5 cents or more per gallon).
    New Jersey still gets away with their ban on self-service in part because even with that in effect, the prices are cheaper than those across the Hudson River in New York City.

  • Stanley Tillinghast, MD says:

    I had a discussion about this with a toxicologist years ago. It’s clearly better for the public health to spread the benzene exposure around to all drivers rather than concentrate it on the gas pumpers.

    • GWB says:

      What technique is the toxicologist using for pumping his gas? Is he putting his face to the filler pipe while he pumps?

  • Larry says:

    Reservations are Federal lands (with limited self-government). That’s why reservations can sell untaxed (by the state) cigarettes and have cleaned up in the past in New York, for example.

    What pissed me off in Oregon is that it’s not even full service. The young kids or older dolts/potheads (who probably couldn’t do much else) literally just take your credit card, swipe it in the pump just like you would anywhere, then put the nozzle in the tank and wait. They will not wash your windows, check air pressure or fluids. Nothing but swipe the card, pump the gas, and stand there. If it’s below zero over 100, I might consider paying for someone else to pump it, but otherwise, why? There’s a significantly bigger price difference between self-service and full service than there is between regular and premium gas in the stations that still have that option here. Interestingly, in Oregon, if you have diesel car like my parent’s dearly departed Jetta TDI, you could pump your own.

    I have no sympathy for the moronic mouth-breathers who think this virtue-signalling jobs program is one of those things that makes Oregon ever so special and better than anything between the Cascades and the Hudson River. Most of the nuttiness is concentrated in Porklandia, but there are weird little pockets like Ashland in the southwestern part of the state that’s so filled with California refugees who brought their money, but learned nothing from California’s experience or what that has to do with why the fled in the first place. Secular holy rollers is what they really are (holy roller in the Elmer Gantry sense).

  • ObiJohn says:

    Yes, it’s a stupid law on its face but you have to understand why it was passed back in the ’70s. The ’72 oil crisis was quasi-manufactured… yes, there was a temporary shortage but the oil companies saw customer behavior and decided to extend it to run an experiment. Prior to this, the oil companies either licensed independent owners to affiliate with their brand, or adopted the McDonald’s model of buying the land and having a franchisee owner build and run the station as prescribed by the company; logos, products, uniforms, signage, etc. The ’72 embargo showed them that people were willing to pump their own gas, without having to discount the price. This started the move to today’s model where there are automated pumps, no service, and a cashier in a small convenience store to handle operating issues. Initially, the oil companies converted the owner/operators to this model voluntarily, taking away any profit on fuel but letting them run the store rent free and make profit on the snacks, drinks, and supplies including branded oil, antifreeze, etc. This was a huge drop in per-station profitability: a typical station in a decent-sized city might have sold 100,000 gallons of gas a month with 20 cents or more profit with a premium brand like Sunoco or Esso, plus significant income from the repair shop. Making well over $200k/year was great money in the 1970s especially for a blue collar HS grad, perhaps a military vet. What you got with the new stations was about 15% of the per-station profit, but the oil companies let some cooperative dealers run several self-serve stations and perhaps keep one full-serve station as a way of breaking resistance. Others were just not given a choice, and many lost their franchise after the conversion. The Service Station Dealers Association (SSDA) was able to get the law protecting dealers by banning self-service in Oregon, and I think one more state, and that helped some dealers hang on a little longer.

    So, this wasn’t an idiots job program, it was an attempt to prevent the inevitable vertical integration of a mature industry with the resultant creative destruction which is the painful part of capitalism (painful for dealers, with no benefit to customers because the price wasn’t lower… if the company charged 1 cent per gallon less it still captured nearly all the dealers’ profits while getting nearly all the business and the oil companies would sell gas at retail for lower than dealer cost to drive reluctant dealers out of business… and more profit to the oil companies), which worked for a few decades. Of course, it forced other changes like the need for more reliable vehicles resulting from the scarcity of readily available mechanical help on every corner, and it only delayed the inevitable. Today, the oil companies own production, refining, distribution, and retail and the dealer-owner is no more. Sure, it’s their right, but it also took a bite out of the non-matriculated middle class.

  • mer says:

    Now now. Not all gas pumpers are Steve Martin in The Jerk.

    New Jersey is the other state with a “thou shalt not pump your own gas” commandment, it was that way a long time before the 1970s. I can’t speak for Oregon.

    Speaking from personal experience, it was actually a good first job to have in high school, but I had a good boss. We worked for our pay, we washed windshields, a very good thing during the summer when people (women) were on their way to the beach (that’s how I got a date to senior prom). During the gas crunch (station open for 4 hrs only, non stop cars at every pump the whole time) I always got to take the family car that needed gas, had fun times when the price broke $1/gal but the pumps only went to 99cents: learned how to double everything pretty quickly.

    I pump/I no pump/no matter to me. When the temps hit -20F it’s nice having someone else out in the weather, but I still wind up getting out of the car.

  • The elderly, the disabled drivers, tipsy drivers, sleepy drivers, distracted people, careless. Plus you smell like gasoline for half the day. Yuck!

  • Bob says:

    I guess they will discover that pumping your own gas won’t be mandatory but optional. Clever owners will mark some pumps self-service and some full service. In fact here in Connecticut it is common. It is also common for the full service gas to cost 10-30 cents more per gallon depending on how tony your neighborhood is. Then they can make a rational choice.

  • GWB says:

    Numerous people seem to confuse “can do self-serve” with “must do self-serve”.
    Removing a mandatory restriction is a good thing. (Yes, I’ve done the Chesterton’s Fence analysis, and that fence needs to be torn down.)

  • Clean Willie says:

    ” Can you imagine the havoc and chaos that could ensue if everyone merely parked their cars at the fuel pump and refused to leave until a gas station dolt came out and pumped their gas for them?”

    Sounds like a great income opportunity for tow truck owners.

  • Valerie says:

    When visiting in Oregon several years ago, we were practically attacked by attendant when attempting to pump own gas. We thought the idea of no self-pumping was funny (in fact still do). It would be nice for an attendant to clean windshield, but, hey, I’ve learned how to do that myself too. Previous comments are correct::if you get gas on yourself, you’re doing it wrong.

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