Starting Saturday, Oregonians will be able to pump their own gas statewide. But how many attendants will be on duty — if any — depends on which county they are in.
Stations in rural counties, including Crook County and Jefferson County will not be required to staff any pumps.
Both Towne Pump and Shell in Prineville say they will continue operating with a gas attendant available, but the workers say they expect their job duties could change.
“It’s going to it’s going to hinder a lot of things. I mean, some people like to have service,” Shell Attendant Joe Aguilera said. “I think it’ll be alright. A lot of people like to pump their own gas nowadays.”
Many days, Aguilera is the only person on staff at the Prineville Shell, balancing his duties between tendering inside the shop and pumping gas outside.
“It’s kind of nice to not have to run out here and help every customer you know,” he said.
Aguilera received confirmation his job is safe, but expects that future work will likely include spending more time inside the shop. He said many rural county-based gas stations, which will no longer be forced to staff pumps 50% of the day, may be able to afford more favorable prices for drivers.
“Maybe it’ll bring the gas prices down. That might be beneficial for everyone,” he said.
Just down the street, the Prineville Towne Pump will also keep their gas attendants on staff.
“We are going to continue to be mainly helping the people that don’t know how to do their own gas and the people that are too tired from long shifts to do their own gas,” Towne Pump Attendant Amber Coons said.
Towne Pump says their station isn’t equipped to move cash transactions inside and they want to continue service for those who self-pumping could be difficult.
Attendant Chris Miller says he’s thankful to keep pumping gas after Saturday, but it will feel strange adjusting to the lack of regulation.
“This is how it’s been since I was a little kid,” he said.
Both stations told Central Oregon Daily they have no plans to abandon pump service options and are not laying off any staff as a result of the new rules.