NJ will never have self-serve gas because lawmakers fear women voters, Christie says
BORDENTOWN — Gov. Chris Christie says proposing self-serve gas stations is the third-rail of New Jersey politics.
During his latest town hall meeting on Tuesday, Christie was asked about the possibility of allowing drivers to pump their own gas, which presumably would save them a few cents a gallon.
Every state in America except New Jersey currently allows self-serve gas. It's completely prohibited in the Garden State.
“It makes sense from a public policy perspective to allow self serve gas," Christie said. "The reason it’s not happening is no one will vote for it. I’m just telling ya.”
He pointed out it’s a hot-button gender issue and “it is incredibly politically unpopular in this state to take away gas service at the gas pumps.”
Christie told the crowd “the last private poll we did on this question, 78 percent of New Jersey women said they were opposed to self-serve gas — 78 percent. You can’t find 78 percent of anybody in New Jersey who agrees on anything.”
Christie then said after he was elected governor seven years ago he had several meetings with former Gov. Tom Kean to get advice and counsel and Kean told him he'd “never have self-serve gas ever."
"He said 'I proposed it when I was governor and I got crucified.' He said don’t do it.”
The bottom line, he said, is “it is a bipartisan issue of being afraid of the 78 percent of women in New Jersey. And by the way, over 50 percent of men oppose it, too. With those kind of demographics, will it never pass, no chance. It’s just never going to happen.”
Christie added: “I’ve seen bumper stickers in this state, which say Jersey girls don’t pump their own gas."
Earlier this month Senate President Steve Sweeney told an Asbury Park Press editorial board meeting he didn’t believe self serve gas would result in lower prices at the pump and he would never allow a vote on it.
Contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com