— Virus X (@robertnlee) January 3, 2018
Until this week, Oregon and New Jersey were the only two states to ban self-serve gas stations. Oregon just ended its ban as to rural counties, despite warnings from defenders of the old law that ordinary motorists might not be up to the task of handling pumps without causing fiery infernos or spills. [Brian Manzullo, Detroit Free Press]
As for New Jersey’s ban, Paul Mulshine wrote a column three years ago exploring its unlovely origins. He explains the oft-remarked New Jersey paradox — the state beats its neighbors on gas price even though all pumps are full-service — by noting that the Garden State has had (until recently) a relatively low gas tax and is located amid refineries and import operations, helping keep transport costs down. More: R.J. Lehmann, 2015.