Residents of Oregon became outraged when a new law took effect allowing motorists in rural counties to, perish the thought, pump their own gas.
As of January 1, gas stations in counties with populations of fewer than 40,000 people are permitted to offer self-service under House Bill 2482.
Since 1951, Oregon required all gas stations to have pump attendants, but now drivers in 15 counties can pump their own gas any time of day, while those in three other rural counties can do so after business hours, between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
When news regarding this change surfaced, locals started to complain on social media about how “dangerous” the act of pumping gas was and how no one should be allowed to do it other than “qualified” gas-pumping attendants — comments typically made a few decades ago when it was considered “man’s work only” to pump gas in parts of the Midwest and the South.
The rest of the country, besides New Jersey, have been pumping their own gas for years. Trolls mocked fearful residents which resulted in some pretty hilarious responses to the #OregonGasCrisis here:
I’m dying#pumpurowngas #OregonGasCrisis
— Authentic Truths (@1AuthenticTruth) January 4, 2018
At 40, I’ve never been a driver at a full service station. I can not only pump my gas, but I can also clean my windshield (although my 7 & 9 year old constantly beg to do it). Not only am I able to apparently watch my children, but I can also fight off “transients” AND manage to not go around smelling like gasoline all day. Looking at this comments, I can only assume I’m the real life Wonder Woman.
— Molly Keaton January 2, 2018
Dear #Oregon, The green handle is DIESEL, not an “eco friendly” or “cannabis-infused” blend of regular gas. -Austin #oregongas #OregonGasCrisis
— Austin Mayse (@AustinMayse) January 4, 2018
Let’s check in on all the people in Oregon that have to pump their own gas now
— upgrūv (@upgruv) January 4, 2018
Thoughts and prayers for people pumping gas for the first time in Oregon.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) January 4, 2018
Oregon’s new gas station training facility
— Craigé Schmuckatelli (@CraigR3521) January 4, 2018
Day three for Oregon pumping gas..
— Noelle (@NoelleCraine) January 4, 2018
I’ve pumped gas my whole life and I’m absolutely shocked people in Oregon are dying from pumping their own gas some days you can’t even make this stuff up
— PinkAboutIt (@Pink_About_it) January 4, 2018
Oregon: “I can’t make it into work today” “Why?” “I can’t pump gas”
— Tim (@Timerican) January 4, 2018
Oregon residents: “who knows what horrors will happen if ppl pump their own gas?!” 48 other states: “Um, we have some data.”
— Renna (@RennaW) January 3, 2018
To all the states making fun of Oregon bc we don’t know how to pump our own gas: DONT COME CRYING TO US WHEN U RUN OUT OF CLEAN WATER AND HAZELNUTS YOU DONT GET ANY
— Alex (@alxsatrum) January 3, 2018
Imagine when people of Oregon find out about cleaning their own windshield at the gas station.
— Earned Not Given™ (@75toRupp) January 3, 2018
I’ve recently learned of the tragic news coming out of Oregon regarding the government’s blatant attack on innocent citizens who now have to risk their lives(and others)to simply fuel their cars. Be strong Oregon. You got this! #OregonGasCrisis
— JohnnyB (@JohnnyBcomedy) January 4, 2018
Self-serve gas in Oregon proceeding generally as expected.
— Jazz Shaw (@JazzShaw) January 7, 2018
Live shot of Oregon residents attempting to pump their own gas
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) January 3, 2018
House Bill 2482 does not force drivers to pump their own gas; it just gives them the option to do it themselves — a point missed by some. The law also does not require all gas stations to have self-service pumps around the clock. Nor does it eliminate jobs because gas stations with convenience stores are still required to have attendants during business hours.
While the social-media responses were fun to watch, it is clear that having the freedom to choose can be too much for some people to handle when the government is typically involved in their everyday lives via occupational licensing.
Hopefully, the #OregonGasCrisis will help others realize that freedom only exists when people are truly free to make choices for themselves.