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Oregon Gas laws (- Yet another attack on freedom)
| FR Post 12-1-2002
| Debbie Brannigan
Posted on 12/01/2002 1:27:53 PM PST by vannrox
Oregon Gas laws
Debbie Brannigan (Email Author)
I spent most of my life in a suburb of Detroit, MI: the Motor City of America. I've been pumping my own gas for 20+ years now. Imagine my surprise when I went to work in Portland, OR and attempted to fill my own gas tank, only to be told by the 'trained fueling operator' that it was against the law for me to fill my own gas tank. I was not "qualified" to handle class1 flammable liquids!! I thought it was a joke but its true. There is a fine of up to $500 if I am caught trying to perform the 'fueling operation' on my own.
Yep, ORS 480.315-320, that's the one. Check it out on the Oregon State government website: www.leg.state.or.us
The following is taken directly from the text of ORS 480.330:
"An owner, operator or employee of a filling station service station, garage, or other dispensary where class 1 flammable liquids are dispensed at retail may not permit any person other than the owner, operator or employee to use or manipulate any pump, hose, pipe or other device for dispensing the liquids into the fuel tank of a motor vehicle or other retail container."
ORS 480.385, Civil penalty for dispensing law violation:
Civil penalty shall become due and payable 10 days after order: up to $500.
There are 17 declarations listed which try to rationalize this completely irrational law. Too many to list in this writing but here are some of my personal favorites:
1) The dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids by dispensers properly trained in appropriate safety procedures reduces fire hazards directly associated with the dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids.
7) Exposure to toxic fumes represents a health hazard to customers dispensing Class 1 flammable liquids.
10a) The significantly higher prices typically charged for full-service fuel dispensing in states where self service is permitted at retail discriminates against customers with lower incomes, who are under greater economic pressure to subject themselves to the inconvenience and hazards of self-service.
11) The increased use of self-service at retail in other states has contributed to diminishing the availability of automotive repair facilities at gasoline stations.
14) Self service dispensing at retail contributes to unemployment, particularly among young people.
And, last but not least.....we can't forget about 'the children':
17) Small children left unattended when customers leave to make payment at self service stations creates a dangerous situation.
No, I'm not kidding: those are all for real. Can Big Brother's elitist agenda be any clearer?
Declaration 7 states that exposure to fumes presents a health risk to customers but what about the 'qualified fuel dispensing operator'? There are no masks, no special procedures and no form of protection from these fumes for the attendant. There is nothing this 'qualified' person does any differently than I would. Exposure to fumes for them is OK, I guess. Why can't I do this myself again?
Declaration 10a is by far the most outrageous: "high prices of full service discriminate against low income customers who are subjected to the inconvenience and hazards of self service."
First off, the keyword here is 'convenience'. Convenience is a luxury, not a right. Oregon lawmakers need to learn the difference apparently.
Secondly, it amazes me that Oregon's legislature would even have the nerve to play the "low income discrimination" card in this argument. The state of Oregon has the highest gas prices in all of the contiguous United States thanks to taxes and restrictions imposed upon it's service stations. Oregon not only demands its gas station proprietors hire full time attendants to pump gas but also imposes a 24 cent per gallon licensing tax which is due every month of operation. Of course government employees are exempt from paying this additional tax and may file for a refund on the gas they use. Where is the concern for the low income folks now? The poor of Oregon now pay the highest gas prices in the entire country! Rather than cut taxes and lower prices for everyone, the state of OR has decided it's better to impose the highest taxes and charges for all: including the poor. Typical rhetoric. (ref: ORS 319.020 for licensing tax info)
Declarations 11 & 14 claim that self service stations contribute not only to unemployment but also to diminished availability of service stations. This reminds me of a scene from "Anthem" by Ayn Rand. Prometheus presents his great discovery of electricity to the World Council of Scholars. They tell him it would "wreck the plans of the World Council" by wreaking havoc on the current Council of Candles. When government restricts free market evolution, the result can only be stagnation. Can you imagine life if the government had stepped in to halt the 'diminished availability' of blacksmiths, chimney sweeps, milkmen, 8 tracks tapes, rotary phones, etc, etc. If there is market demand for a business it will survive without intervention.
Self-serve gas stations have not led to higher unemployment rates in other states. Most of those stations are equipped with automated electronic pumps and surveilance. More high tech equipment = more high tech maintenance & sales = more high tech jobs. Hmmm. Oregon has the highest gasoline prices in the country. It also has the highest unemployment rate. Oregon lawmakers claim to be passing these laws in an effort to reduce unemployment and help the low income citizens. Obviously, the opposite effect has taken place. Perhaps it is time to rethink the current strategy?
Oh and the best for last!
Declaration 17: small children left alone while paying for gas poses a 'dangerous' situation. Are children all over the country spontaneously combusting at these self serve stations? What are these children doing.....drinking the gasoline when mom's not looking? I could find no data anywhere to support a higher rate of injury to minors at self service stations vs. full serve stations. A vast majority of self serve stations are equipped with pay at the pump service, so you never have to leave the perimeter of your car. If it does not offer this, drive 1/4 mile to one that does. Don't want to do that: take the child inside with you.
It has not been quite a decade since this law was imposed and already the arguments for keeping it intact are " so many people wouldn't know how to pump their own gas now". So here is yet another law fully enforced and completely ridiculous. It is another step up the government ladder of dependancy, where we leave Liberty and Freedom on the ground below.
Let me end this with a fitting quote from Benjamin Franklin: "People who are willing to give up their freedom for securtiy deserve neither"
TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Oregon
KEYWORDS: clinton; congress; democrat; free; freedom; gas; hillery; liberal; liberty; oregon; peace; senate
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Oh, and I wouldn't characterize this as an attack on freedom.
This has been in place here for a very long time, at least since the 1920s. Possibly a reaction to some self-fueling catastrophe somewhere outside of the state (for I know we have had none here), or it may have been an industry recommendation common at the time. History for our state going back that far is kind of fuzzy, because our legislature keeps rewriting it.
I remember when more states did not allow self service, and there's no rule that all the states have to have the same laws. We don't have sales tax either, probably because the legislature can't just enact one, it needs to be approved by the voters. Sometimes I wish our legislature realized that just because other states want to jump off of a cliff, we don't have to.
Dave in Eugene
You'd really hate California ...
posted on 12/01/2002 2:12:36 PM PST
How does this encourage people to stay put in these jobs. I have never once heard someone say they wanted to pump gasoline for any longer then they had to. No one is forcing them to stay at these jobs,and the jobs are available for those that need them.I wouldn't mind having a choice,but most people I talk to don't want self service-they like it the way it is.Who enjoys smelling like gas?
posted on 12/01/2002 2:14:49 PM PST
Well now in Taxifornia I have found a station at $1.47 a gallon but most in my area are around $1.53 a gallon. Of course I expect this to go up when the democRATs raise taxes some more. Parley
And during our long rainy season, it IS nice to not have to pump my own.
Life is full of choices here in Texas: full service or self service, Class III machine gun or semi-auto, propane or charcoal. I couldn't imagine living where a nanny state had already made all my decisions for me.
$1.47 for unleaded 87 octane here in San Diego (away fromn the beach).
posted on 12/01/2002 2:16:40 PM PST
Imagine my surprise when I went moved to Florida and discovered that I was responsible for pumping my own gas, utterly medieval. I have had no formal training and possess no qualifications that would lead anyone to believe that the public is best served by me pumping my own gas. I resent having to perform this menial labor while dressed in business clothes, furthermore the smell of gasoline clashes with my Givenchy Gentleman Cologne.
Dude! Stop getting your gas at Wal-Mart. If you look for an Exxon or Texaco sign you will find a place that has a full-service pump.
Wow so much for my theory! I am in Houston (where gas comes from) & I have to pay $1.45 for regular & pump it myself. I might get it cheaper if I shopped around I just don't know.
posted on 12/01/2002 2:18:18 PM PST
The regional joke is:
"Who lives in Oregon?"
"Californians who are too stupid to find Washington."
posted on 12/01/2002 2:21:22 PM PST
I might get it cheaper if I shopped around I just don't know.
The local TV station did a story on this a few months ago. They went to an Exxon on a busy intersection and asked people why they were buying gasoline there when it is 8 cents a gallon across the intersection at a Stop-and-Go store. Most people shrugged and said they never noticed it. Their conclusion was that most people would just pull in where it was easiest rather than cross several lanes of traffic to get to the other side. Most didn't seem to care what the price was.
"...it is 8 cents a gallon across the intersection...
Oops, I meant "8 cents a gallon cheaper" across the intersection.
I think that is true. Traffic is so bad here that you take the path of least resistance. What does regular cost in deep west Texas?
posted on 12/01/2002 2:28:48 PM PST
What does regular cost in deep west Texas?
$1.16 at Wal-Mart. But they may be having a gas war with the Albertson's up the street. Capitalism -- ain't it great! It's in the low $1.20's most of the rest of the places.
To: The Watcher
Oregon's legislature has been, for way too long, run by the loopies elected by the loopies on the left.
But hasn't the Oregon gas law been re-approved by popular vote - twice? Would some of our Oregonians here care to explain the thinking on this?
This has been posted on FR some months back--This has been the law in OR for maybe 30 years. There are lots of reasons why the law.
It was about 30 years ago full service went by the wayside at many flling stations. More in likely had something to do with cutbacks at owner-operated stations during the first "gas crisis" following the Yom Kippur War.
$1.41 to $1.43 here in Oroville. I imagine its about five cnets cheaper at the Arco in Marysville.
To: Who dat?
Gas at the local Shell is $1.23 a gallon, commensurate with other states, and I love having not to get out in the sleet and cold to pump my gas!
posted on 12/01/2002 3:25:22 PM PST
Yet Oregon full-serve gasoline costs less per gallon than California self-serve, and your car will run better.
Sure, I'd rather save a few pennies and pump my own, but I'll take coerced pumping over Kalifornistan's rough-running bilgewater anyday.
I grew up in Oregon, and I know that this article is way off base.
First, the ban on self-serve has been approved by popular vote two, maybe three times, so it is hardly imposed by a loopy legislature, however loopy that legislature may be.
Second, I believe that that Oregon has never allowed operators to pump their own gas, since the dawn of filling stations.
Thirdly, Oregon does not have the most expensive gas in the nation. Far from it. When I visited family over Labor Day this year, I bought gas in Lebanon, OR for $1.19 per gallon. Here in Maryland the cheapest regular I can get without going 6 miles out of my way is $1.46.
Ford recomends that I use premium, but that's just because my car has a high compression engine. As long as I don't drive like a maniac, I can use regular. Of course, some times I do feel maniacal, so I pay $0.30 per gallon more.
What's up with the price differential? It doesn't really cost any more to make gasoline with different octane ratings.
posted on 12/01/2002 3:54:16 PM PST
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