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Oregon’s self-service ban raises gas prices just $0.04

This cost is borne by those young and reckless enough to choose to handle an inflammable carcinogen, if not for the beneficent rule of law. On the other hand the ban is a cross-subsidy to those old and wise enough to leave gasoline to trained professionals, who would otherwise have to pay the full cost of this service. Paper here, for the seminal work on this subject see Johnson and Romeo (2000).


    • non-electric 05/25/2022

      Just “fill up” your electric car in the the north parking garage FOR FREE!

    • honest Uncle Bernie 05/25/2022

      depends on what you count as “the externalities.” The Northwest has an abundance of hydropower. But try selling more dams to the salmon or the Natives or the remaining environmnetalists. Or maybe you prefer to fill up the Valley and the Coast with wind turbines. Good luck selling that. And on and on ….

      • Salmon-powered future 05/25/2022

        I could totally sell a dam to a salmon. They’re just dumb fish.

        • uomatters Post author | 05/25/2022

          Got skunked fishing again?

    • thedude 05/28/2022

      Will it be stable if all of us start doing it?

      How much would a Tesla cost if 200m want them at once?

      • honest Uncle Bernie 05/29/2022

        not just the lack of the cars. Where is the electricity going to come from? Take Eugene (take it, please!) They are trying to discourage people from using natural gas for heating. Meaning all our heat will be electric. Oh, and wood, so we can have all those nice particulates to breathe in winter, after the summer fires. (And electric is great for when the occasional blizzard comes!) OK, so now we suddenly have to plug our cars into an inadequate electrical system that runs on cheap hydropower. Where does all the extra electricity come from? I guess we could import electricity from coal from Montana or Mexico or somewhere. Or ruin the Oregon landscape with thousands of monster wind turbines. (They’re already in progress!) Of course, none of this will ever happen because our government leaders wouldn’t allow it. Just look at inflation, baby formula, next fall’s unfunded covid vaccines … at least we are a safe and secure country, right?

        At least we can count on UO!

          • honest Uncle Bernie 05/30/2022

            Now that’s kind of a cheap shot at UO, no? You know very well that UO isn’t allowed to have engineering. But I know you’re just having fun, so I’ll have a good laugh with you. To OSU, I say Effin’ A!

            But — let’s take the proposals to ramp up nuclear power with new-generation nuclear technology. I’m fine with that — I think both the safety and waste disposal issues are eminently tractable (and getting more so). But try selling that to the public! (Or parenthetically, try finding anything remotely like that in the science “flight path” at the esteemed Tykeson advising center.) In fact, Oregon is about as anti-nuclear as a state can get. And the real — or unreal — “flagship” — UO — is in a county that has declared itself a nuclear-free zone! You can look it up, or you can see a sign that says so on one of the highways going south from the pretenders up north, I’ve viewed that sign many times in amazement driving past.

            But it’s completely irresponsible, in my opinion, to be talking about phasing out fossil fuels, included gas-burning cars, when there is no plausible way, and certainly no plan, to come up with needed non-fossil fuel derived electricity. Could our government(s) — federal, state, and local — really be that incompetent? Just ask the people dealing with covid, inflation, Russia, baby formula shortages, looming food shortages — to say nothing heaven help up us of rampant homicide. Yes, we are governed by fools. And as the saying goes, we have met the enemy, and …..

            • uomatters Post author | 05/30/2022

              Please Uncle Bernie, the preferred nomenclature is “elemental power”.

            • Tug o' the Forelock 05/31/2022

              It’s because we are “governed by fools” that I am not interested in nuclear power — I don’t trust humans not to make mistakes, well-meaning or otherwise.

            • CSN 05/31/2022

              What do you define as ‘plausible’? I used to be a big proponent of fission energy. I have become less enamored with it over time as the price of solar and wind capacity installation have decreased along with the development of grid storage. It now seems very plausible to me that these technologies can effectively grow to substitute for fossil fuel emissions on a faster timeline than the timeline of fission development.

    • Unexcellent 05/29/2022

      My truck gets 10MPG. My footprint is still smaller than just about anybody’s because (1) I didn’t breed, (2) I rarely drive, and (3) I do minimal air travel.

      Please: focus on the first-order terms, higher order terms are just fiddling with the noise.

  1. Dog 05/24/2022

    Indeed that has now come to the case for price.

    In the case of externalities – this is not clear – most of the electricity used as fuel for EVs still comes from fossils (although less than
    say 20 years ago). Rare earth minerals needed for batteries represents an externality since most of that material can not be
    recovered after the battery is spent. Eventually its a choice of
    battery material between EVs and cell phones …,What%20is%20this%3F&text=The%20most%20common%20cost%20per,to%20drive%20an%20electric%20car.

    is a good study about recent costs

  2. It's Classified. 05/25/2022

    I’m curious, from an Economist’s perspective, what expense or benefit there is to having the additional jobs in the community– and how that compares to the ~$30 savings/expense annually per licensed driver.

    • honest Uncle Bernie 05/25/2022

      From a non-economist’s perspective — it always struck me as nice not to have to pump my own in the winter rain. On the other hand, it can be a pain to wait, esp in the summer. More important, perhaps, it always seemed nice to be that some poor schlub could always find work pumping gas. “Outsourcing” those jobs to self-serve never struck me as a great idea.

  3. New Year Cat 05/25/2022

    I lived in states where I had to pump my own. It sucked. Physically, the smell of gas makes me ill. I’m glad our state requires someone with a mimimum of training to do this, since at least it is a job, even if a kind of desperate one, and I wish they made more money than they do, considering the health risks of inhaling the fumes from the gas and the cars’ exhausts.

  4. Compulsory Pessimist 05/31/2022

    Wasn’t the entire point of Oregon’s self-service ban about *job creation*? An annual cost of $30/driver seems like a damn fine price to pay for several entry-level employment opportunities.

    • Dog 06/01/2022

      I don’t think that was the initial or main reason.

      The State of Oregon banned self-service gas in 1951 for safety reasons, primarily. At that time, this was also the case
      for many other states.

      Now, tangentially, OR was in double digit unemployment at that immediate post WW2 time, and so this ban did offer the creation
      of some new jobs.

      • uomatters Post author | 06/01/2022

        When was that in dog years?

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