Why not gas up in New Jersey?

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We ran an article in our last issue about how gas prices work and in doing some digging on prices around the country, we noticed that if New Yorkers look across the border into New Jersey, they'll see gas prices are about 30 cents cheaper there. So by driving a few extra miles, you could save a significant amount of money over the course of a year, right? Not exactly. Did you know there are still two states in the union - Oregon and New Jersey - where self service pumps are still forbidden? So even though the gas itself is a little cheaper over in the Garden State, you end up paying extra for full-service, which erases most of the savings.

A few facts to prep for Jeopardy's gasoline category:

  • Self-service stations first popped up in California in 1947
  • It wasn't until the 1970s that self service started to become common around the country
  • One of the main reasons Oregon and New Jersey prohibited self service was the fear that customers wouldn't handle the pumps properly and would put themselves and others in a dangerous situation. Is this really still a concern?
  • Both states have stations that allow self service for diesel, because the lawmakers believed truck drivers would know how to handle their gas properly.

                 Speaking of gasoline, I can't believe this story about two girls that "fuel the fire" wasn't up for an Oscar.

Check out this wikipedia article for more than you ever wanted to know on gas stations.

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April 27, 2006 - 1:18am
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