SALEM — Crook and Jefferson counties could lose one of Oregon’s signature quirks — the full-service gas station — under a bill sent to Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday.
House Bill 2482 allows drivers in 15 Oregon counties with populations under 40,000 to pump their own gas any time, day or night.
Oregon did not allow any self-service at gas stations until 2005, when overnight self-service was approved in some rural counties. New Jersey is the only other state with limits on self-service gas stations.
In addition to Crook and Jefferson, Oregon counties covered by the bill include Baker, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, and Wheeler.
Clatsop, Curry and Tillamook counties would let drivers pump their own gas between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The bill’s supporters said the move would help cut costs at gas stations in rural areas that might close early instead of paying to staff full-service pumps.
A Senate staff analysis said the current limits “can lead to situations in which a traveler may be without the ability to refuel in remote locations late at night.”
Stations that have a retail space, such as a convenience store, would be required to continue full-service operations.
The bill by Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, was approved 56-0 by the House on March 30. The vote Tuesday in the Senate was 26-1, with Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick casting the lone “no” vote.
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