No matter how high gas prices go, New Jersey can’t let go of the past (opinion)
Gas prices. It's a hot topic right now, and one that directly affects us here in New Jersey. Of course, it might not be as painful if it wasn't for the hike in the gas tax some years back.
And with the cost of gas on the rise to potentially record levels in the Garden State, the topic of self-serve is back at the forefront as a possible way to lower prices at the pump. So much so, that our lawmakers are considering making this a reality in the near future.
Here's the problem. New Jersians can't seem to get out of their own way on this topic. Sure, they'll complain about high prices (and rightfully so, they're insanely high right now), but they'll also complain about having to leave their car to fill up their own tank.
I've done polls on this before, and the results are the same every time. A majority of New Jersey citizens don't want self-serve gas in the Garden State. In fact, a decent amount doesn't even want to have self-serve to be optional.
Sure, there are plenty of excuses for this. The richest one I always hear is how someone is going to reek of gas because they got it all over themselves. The only way I see this as a possibility is if you hold the nozzle over your head and fry to fill your vehicle that way.
Think of it this way. Do you require full-service when it comes to operating a water hose? Probably not. Operating a gas pump is kind of the same as you're in control when gas is being pumped.
Or, you can let it automatically fill the car for you and it'll turn off once the tank is full. It's really pretty straightforward.
Now before you say it, I do acknowledge some people may need assistance for a legitimate reason. If you fall into this category, then this message isn't directed toward you. It's directed toward those who don't want to give up the luxury of sitting in their car while their tank fills.
Then there's the other argument that jobs will be lost. I simply don't think that would happen at a scale some make it out to be. And if we keep some pumps at full-service, then what's the problem? The attendants will be there to help those that want it, and the self-serve will be there for those of us who prefer to be in and out.
It really boils down to the luxury of it. A good portion of our citizens will come up with any excuse in the book to avoid touching that nozzle. Is it any wonder why we're amusing to watch at a gas pump when we're out of state?
Now I don't know if this would actually lower the price at the pump, but it is worth exploring at least making it optional. And if we did that and allowed full-service to remain with self-serve, I honestly believe that would set us apart from being stuck in the past to being a leader at the pump.
I do think having the choice is good. If you want to pump it yourself, then you should be allowed to do so. And if you want to stay in your car and wait for an attendant, then that's fine as well.
But we need to get out of our own way and move on from the past. The time has come for an option at the pump, and our lawmakers should make it happen. I truly believe that once this trigger is pulled, it won't be as bad as some fear.
This brings up a good question, however. With gas prices so high right now, and with the potential of lower prices at the pump if we did introduce self-serve, would you be on board of at least exploring the option?
Sound out below and let us know.