Labor shortage leads New Jersey, Oregon to consider allowing residents to pump their own gas

Both are the last remaining states that prohibit consumers from filling up their own tanks.
An attendant pumps gas in Somers Point, N.J., Aug. 2020

The last two states that prohibit consumers from filling up their own gas tanks are considering scrapping those rules in the wake of ongoing labor shortages across the country.

Washington and New Jersey are both considering bills that would bring their states in line with the other 48 legislatures in permitting drivers to fill up their own gas tanks. 

“Every other state has it,” New Jersey Assemblyman Edward Thomson told the Hill. “It’s not a safety issue. The new pumps are as safe as can be.”

Oregon state Rep. Shelly Boshart Davis, meanwhile, said that many gas stations “don’t have enough attendants to service all of them,” and that at many locations “half of the pumps are closed down and they have garbage cans or cones in front of them” as a result.

The Philadelphia Inquirer notes that such prohibitions were “originally meant to guard drivers from handling flammable fuel,” though injuries from pumping gas are not widely reported.