Upton bill would add two months daylight savings

Published 8:54 pm Thursday, April 7, 2005

By Staff
WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today introduced an amendment to the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to extend Daylight Saving Time (DST) by two months.
Upton's bipartisan amendment, co-sponsored by Ed Markey (D-MA), would extend DST from the first Sunday in March to the last Sunday in November. The amendment also mandates the Department of Energy to study the impact of DST on the nation's energy consumption. Upton's measure was approved by the full committee and added to the comprehensive Energy Policy Act of 2005, which is expected to soon be considered by the full House.
There is historical precedent to Upton's amendment. Following the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo, Congress extended DST for two years in hopes of saving additional energy. In 1974, DST lasted 10 months and lasted for eight months in 1975, rather than the normal six months (then, May to October). The U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT), which has jurisdiction over DST, studied the results of the experiment. Based on consumption figures for 1974 and 1975, DoT reported that observing daylight time in March and April saved the equivalent of 10,000 barrels of oil each day; a total of 600,000 barrels in each of those two years.
Daylight time begins in the United States on the first Sunday in April and ends on the last Sunday in October. On the first Sunday in April, clocks are set ahead one hour at 2 a.m. local standard time, which becomes 3 a.m. local daylight time. On the last Sunday in October, clocks are set back one hour at 2 a.m. local daylight time, which becomes 1 a.m. local standard time. Upton's Amendment changes Daylight Saving Time to the first Sunday in March and to the last Sunday in November.
Not all places in the U.S. observe daylight time. In particular, Arizona, Hawaii, and most of Indiana do not use it. Upton's amendment does not alter the abilities of states to opt out.
The Standard Time Act instituted DST when it was signed into law on March 19, 1918. However, the DST provisions were repealed in 1919 and daylight time became a local matter. DST was re-established nationally early in World War II, and was continuously observed from 9 February 1942 to 20 September 1945. After the war its use varied among states and localities.
The Uniform Time Act of 1966 provided standardization in the dates of beginning and end of daylight time in the U.S. but allowed for local exemptions from its observance.
The act provided that daylight time begin on the last Sunday in April and end on the last Sunday in October, with the changeover to occur at 2 a.m. local time.
In 1986, a law was passed that permanently shifted the starting date of daylight time to the first Sunday in April, beginning in 1987. The ending date of daylight time was not subjected to such changes, and has remained the last Sunday in October.