Alarming News

April 28, 2006

Government at its finest

New Jersey has a strange law that all gas stations be full-serve. If you’ve ever driven down the Jersey Turnpike or the Garden State Parkway, this will be a familiar feeling:

I sat in the car, aching, pondering the four-hour drive ahead while watching a long-lost, slow-motion play written by Kafka unfold in the warm failing light of an approaching summer’s eve. Left-side gas-pump lines were many cars deep and right-sided ones were nearly empty. Sullen attendants shuffled unhurriedly from car-window to pump to register kiosk to car window and on again while men and women and families sat trapped, bladders full, in their tiny metal boxes. And I came unglued. My tongue lashed forth in a torrent of obscenity-laced policy proposals and cruel punishment suggestions for all those responsible. My poor fiancé, concern and a hint of fear in her eyes, endured the high-volume tirade. I am ashamed to admit I participated in some Jersey-bashing. I like New Jerseyians — some of my best friends are New Jerseyians. But New Jersey has gone completely sideways when it comes to gas stations.

Read the whole thing for how government regulation is to blame.

Via Dana Superstar.

Posted by Karol at 11:34 AM |
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On a nice summer day, peak travel day and all, it is less than efficient. On a sleating, miserable and cold January morning when it is time to go to work, this is the best policy ever!

Posted by: delbrians at April 28, 2006 at 12:26 pm

Yeah, I remember when I went to college in MA, and was completely humiliated that I had no idea how to work the gas pump.
But Dear Leader Corzine might be changing that soon… timely post.

Posted by: Jay at April 28, 2006 at 1:13 pm

Gasoline is the most dangerous product that consumers are allowed to handle. It is so dangerous I am continually surprised that the government allows us to pump the gas ourselves.
However, the incidence of accidents must be pretty low as you rarely hear of gas pump disasters.

Posted by: Jake at April 28, 2006 at 1:31 pm

Everything in NJ is more complicated than it needs to be. Drivers license/insurance are a catastrophe if you move there from out of state. They even make the bar exam screwy. I lived in Hoboken for a year and was happy, happy happy to leave NJ when I did.

Posted by: Bill Lalor at April 28, 2006 at 4:52 pm

The law has an interesting consequence. The two states in the lower 48 that require full serve, NJ and OR, also have a local ownership rate of about 80%. In all the other states, it’s the other way around, where 80% of gas stations are owned by the oil companies.

Posted by: David at April 28, 2006 at 4:58 pm

Oh yeah… dude’s whiny monkey. He should be more offended by having to pay MD $5 on I-95, the section which was built by interstate highway funds, than an extra $2.60 at the gas station.

Posted by: David at April 28, 2006 at 5:02 pm
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