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Snarky Sack
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New Jersey Bans Self-Service Gas Pumps?
Jan 5th, 2018 at 9:55am
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The Garden State's ban on self-service gas stations, which are allowed in 48 states, began in 1949 when the New Jersey Legislature passed the Retail Gasoline Dispensing Safety Act. That law, enacted over concerns about the safety of consumers pumping petroleum themselves, was later followed by many other states.

Some contend the New Jersey law was rooted in corruption, not safety concerns. There are also worries that young, inexperienced drivers run into trouble when visiting neighboring states and forced to pump their own gas for the first time (that was an issue for the author of this story when he drove in Pennsylvania as a teenager).


Seriously?  It is unsafe to pump one's own gas?  It's that difficult of a skill that a New Jerseyite is in "trouble" if he suddenly has to do it?  When I was eleven or twelve, they had just started having both full-service and self-service pumps at most gas stations.  I walked to the closest station to fill up a gas can for my lawnmower and minibike.  Of course I used the self-serve so I could get almost a gallon for my dollar.  No one showed me how to do it, I'd seen it done a thousand times.




  

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ahhell
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Re: New Jersey Bans Self-Service Gas Pumps?
Reply #1 - Jan 5th, 2018 at 10:01am
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At least the Oregon law was more honest, it was a blatant jobs program.  Still a bad idea but honest.
  
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Jeff
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Re: New Jersey Bans Self-Service Gas Pumps?
Reply #2 - Jan 5th, 2018 at 10:05am
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What do you suppose, that gas station owners lobbied for the law, and the legislature accommodated them? And that gas station owners still lobby to keep the law in place?

There was still a full service gas station in my town when I moved here 15 years ago, but they went out of business somewhere around 10 years ago. They charged a nickle more/gallon for their gas, and not many people were willing to pay that extra amount I guess. There may have been other factors involved...
  
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Re: New Jersey Bans Self-Service Gas Pumps?
Reply #3 - Jan 5th, 2018 at 10:30am
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ahhell wrote on Jan 5th, 2018 at 10:01am:
At least the Oregon law was more honest, it was a blatant jobs program.  Still a bad idea but honest.


That's not a correct analysis.

There are two reasons people in Oregon don't pump their own gas. 

1. It doesn't actually save you any money. 

2. It rains for half the year, and no one wants to get wet standing in the rain.

In Oregon we have had it up for referenda 5 times.  The problem is that about 2/3 the population in the state lives within 10 miles of Washington.  So it's easy to cross the border, check out the price, which is about the same as Oregon.  Self-Serve in Vancouver WA is within 0.02c of Mini-Serve in Portland.  So why pump your own gas if it actually doesn't affect the price?  Mini-serve is slightly faster because you don't have to get out or start the pump or wait for someone else to figure it out.

I've never understood why the price is not different.  Maybe the insurance for gas stations is higher when there are amateurs during the filling.  Oregon uses "West Coast Gas", which is not the special mix from California, but we do get Winter mix.   Oregon and Washington gas comes from the same refineries and is carried by the same trucks.  There are no pipelines here, so it's all trucked in.  So why Mini-Serve (with an attendant) in Oregon is the same price as self-serve in Washington is a mystery.  But until there's a real savings, no one in Oregon wants to get wet.
  
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ahhell
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Re: New Jersey Bans Self-Service Gas Pumps?
Reply #4 - Jan 5th, 2018 at 11:10am
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If that were true then you could leave it up to the market and see if mini service model survives, instead you mandate that everybody gets mini service through the power of government. If Oregonians really minded getting wet so much, that model would survive, I doubt it will.


As to prices, competition, maybe gas station in Oregon just make less profit.  Taxes may be lower in Oregon, that would be easy to figure out if I cared.

Service in Oregon is not faster in my experience the attendants are no faster and maybe even slower than self service.
  
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Re: New Jersey Bans Self-Service Gas Pumps?
Reply #5 - Jan 5th, 2018 at 12:03pm
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JW wrote on Jan 5th, 2018 at 10:30am:
That's not a correct analysis.

There are two reasons people in Oregon don't pump their own gas. 

1. It doesn't actually save you any money. 

2. It rains for half the year, and no one wants to get wet standing in the rain.

In Oregon we have had it up for referenda 5 times.  The problem is that about 2/3 the population in the state lives within 10 miles of Washington.  So it's easy to cross the border, check out the price, which is about the same as Oregon.  Self-Serve in Vancouver WA is within 0.02c of Mini-Serve in Portland.  So why pump your own gas if it actually doesn't affect the price?  Mini-serve is slightly faster because you don't have to get out or start the pump or wait for someone else to figure it out.

I've never understood why the price is not different.  Maybe the insurance for gas stations is higher when there are amateurs during the filling.  Oregon uses "West Coast Gas", which is not the special mix from California, but we do get Winter mix.   Oregon and Washington gas comes from the same refineries and is carried by the same trucks.  There are no pipelines here, so it's all trucked in.  So why Mini-Serve (with an attendant) in Oregon is the same price as self-serve in Washington is a mystery.  But until there's a real savings, no one in Oregon wants to get wet.


There's no free market for gasoline so suppliers are likely selling it to full-serve stations for less than they sell it to self-serve stations. That would wipe out the cost of wages for a couple of gas jockeys.

Jobs are created and everybody wins. They could even be decent paying jobs!

Oregon has always been much more progressive and has demonstrated social responsibilty more than most other states. Weren't they about the first to take back empty drink containers?
  
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Re: New Jersey Bans Self-Service Gas Pumps?
Reply #6 - Jan 5th, 2018 at 12:22pm
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Quote:
There's no free market for gasoline so suppliers are likely selling it to full-serve stations for less than they sell it to self-serve stations. That would wipe out the cost of wages for a couple of gas jockeys.
Why would they do that?  Why not charge higher price?
Quote:
Jobs are created and everybody wins. They could even be decent paying jobs!

Oregon has always been much more progressive and has demonstrated social responsibilty more than most other states. Weren't they about the first to take back empty drink containers?
I know, we should have a law that requires all new cars to carry buggy whips, that would create a bunch of manufacturing jobs for buggy whips!

We should require that all groceries be placed in a bag by an employee of the store!
  
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Don_G
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Re: New Jersey Bans Self-Service Gas Pumps?
Reply #7 - Jan 5th, 2018 at 12:28pm
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ahhell wrote on Jan 5th, 2018 at 12:22pm:
Why would they do that?  Why not charge higher price?
I know, we should have a law that requires all new cars to carry buggy whips, that would create a bunch of manufacturing jobs for buggy whips!

We should require that all groceries be placed in a bag by an employee of the store!


Yes for the bags! And yes for employees doing the bagging. Also, never clear your tray and waste products from a restaurant table. You don't dine out so you can work for the restaurant. Leave it on the table and create another job. Few restaurants can't afford doing it themselves!

In other words, don't interfere with the free market.
  
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ahhell
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Re: New Jersey Bans Self-Service Gas Pumps?
Reply #8 - Jan 5th, 2018 at 1:24pm
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I should start breaking window too!
  
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Re: New Jersey Bans Self-Service Gas Pumps?
Reply #9 - Jan 5th, 2018 at 1:46pm
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JW wrote on Jan 5th, 2018 at 10:30am:
That's not a correct analysis.

There are two reasons people in Oregon don't pump their own gas. 

1. It doesn't actually save you any money. 

2. It rains for half the year, and no one wants to get wet standing in the rain.

What a backward state! Here gas stations have big canopies over their pumps so you can stay dry!

Are you imagining the people who come out and pump your gas work for free? Or that the people working the counter/register in the store will do both? That will really slow things down won't it?
  
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