New Jersey Races Oregon to Let Motorists Pump Their Own Gasoline

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New Jersey and Oregon, the only two U.S. states where motorists can’t pump their own gasoline, could be in a race to lose that distinction.

Two New Jersey lawmakers Monday said they introduced legislation to give drivers the option of self or full service at gasoline stations. The proposal comes about a month after a measure to let drivers in rural parts of Oregon serve themselves passed the House of Representatives.

New Jersey and Oregon adopted bans on self-serve gasoline more than 50 years ago because of safety concerns. Pumping fuel is “now far safer then when New Jersey’s ban on self-service was enacted,” Senator Gerald Cardinale, a Republican from Cresskill, said in a statement.

Cardinale and Senator Paul Sarlo, a Democrat from Wood-Ridge, said their bill would allow voluntary self-service and require stations to retain at least one full-service island for the next three years. Stations could discount the price of self-service gas, but would have to provide full service at the same cost for those with disabilities.

Brian Murray, a spokesman for Republican Governor Chris Christie, declined to comment on the proposal.

“We rarely comment on legislation until it gets here and we have a chance to review what is actually in the bill,” Murray said by e-mail.

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