Oregon may end self-serve gas ban _ but only in rural areas

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon is one of only two states where motorists aren't allowed to pump their own gas. The other is New Jersey.

Now, Oregon's Legislature appears ready to at least let people driving through rural Oregon pump their own fuel. Under a bill that's already passed the House, gas stations could offer self-service fuel during hours when there isn't an owner, operator or employee around.

The change of heart comes from concern that travelers could get stranded in far-flung parts of the state where gas is scare after hours.

Ever since the ban was instituted in 1951, Oregonians have resisted arguments for self-service stations. They rejected a 1982 ballot measure making self-service gas legal, and a proposal to lift the ban hasn't been introduced since 2003.