One of our biggest topics on New Jersey 101.5 is whether or not we should be allowed to have the option of pumping our own gas.

Much has been written about it, much has been discussed. What I never discussed was this until I saw that Dennis Malloy wrote it: We in New Jersey are allowed to pump our own diesel fuel. Why is that?

The answer like so much else in New Jersey will make you laugh if it doesn't make you cry. I reached out to a very reliable source and here's what he told me:

"The reason diesel is legal but not gasoline is simple. In 1949 when the operator of a gas station in Hackensack offered self-serve gas and lowered the price from 22 cents to 19 cents a gallon, he had lines of cars waiting to get into his gas station."

"All of his competitors had their knickers all bunched up and screamed because the competition was brutal and they were losing their customers to this guy."

"The gas dealers all got together and had NJGCA (back then it was NJGRA) fight to ban self-serve based on fire safety."

"The big dopes were in such a rush to get the law passed that no one ever realized that they didn’t include diesel in the ban. The gas station that had them upset only sold gas!!!"

"Back then few cars ran on diesel so the idiots never thought of it until years later when many cars began using diesel. But no one has been screaming to ban self-serve diesel so the law remains allowing motorists to pump their own diesel. Just another stupid NJ twist to the current ban on self-serve gas."

So there you have it.

Once again I polled my audience and once again, I get a different result despite Senate President Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, saying to that “the people of New Jersey are very clear in wanting to keep the system we have now,"  and there is no data supporting any contention that moving to a self-service model would save residents money at the pump.”

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

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Pumping your own gas with Dennis Malloy

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