Our producer Kylie Moore told me a story that made my blood boil.

She was in line for coffee and overlooking a gas station. She first noticed a customer was in the middle of pumping his own gas. No one was challenging him. No one was stopping him. Which is as it ought to be.

Then she watched as another customer pulled up, hopped out and immediately started pumping his own gas too. There was an attendant there and she says he kind of just gave a wave as if to say ‘this is OK, right?’ He went on to pump his tank full without even being talked to.

If I’m all in favor of this why does it make my blood boil? Because of the inconsistency. When I have tried to do the same thing I have always had some gas attendant come charging at me across the parking lot as if I were sacrificing an animal. I have been scolded. I have literally been yelled at for pumping my own gas.

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All I want to do is get in and out as quickly as possible. This is why New Jersey’s antiquated law banning self-serve gas is absurd. It’s the opposite of progress. It’s the stuff of the Amish.

We are the only state that has a full ban on self-serve gas and that fact alone ought to speak volumes. The law has been this way since the 1940s when a New Jersey businessman launched an incredibly successful self-serve gas station and undercut the competition by charging less per gallon.

There were no safety issues. The price was less, not more. But the other gas stations colluded against him and try to drive him out of business. They tried through physical coercion and when that did not work they turned to the biggest thugs of all: the state Legislature.

It’s time this ban went away. Here’s why.

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