Murphy: I Won’t Commit ‘Political Suicide’ and Allow Self-serve Gas
EAST ORANGE — Don't look to pump your gas anytime soon in New Jersey. And don't look to shop on Sunday in Bergen County, either.
Gov. Phil Murphy was asked at a press conference about municipal aid grants about the prospects of self serve gas in New Jersey, as a way to bring down gas prices in the face of a possible increase in the state's gas tax.
"Oh jeez. I will not commit political suicide in East Orange. I'm not going near who pumps the gas. I'm also not going near Blue Laws in Bergen County, but thanks for asking that," Murphy said to laughs
New Jersey is the only state in the country where pumping your own gas is prohibited. Washington State, the other longtime holdout, now allows self-serve in some rural areas.
But some legislators suggest economics could bring self serve gas to New Jersey after the increase in the state's minimum wage.
"We better be prepared to start pumping our own gas soon because one of the industries that is bracing for massive losses is our fuel merchants. Local gas station owners testified before us that they cannot sustain employees and keep their businesses open without bringing in self-serve gas," state Sen. Declan O'Scanlon told CBS Philadelphia in February.
Voters in Bergen County have voted down referendum questions in 1980 and 1993 to repeal the "blue law" prohibiting retail stores from opening, according to NorthJersey.com, which said the last attempt in 2013 failed to get the required number of signatures.