Upton’s Daylight Savings plan heads to House

Published 9:43 pm Friday, April 15, 2005

By Staff
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, applauded last night's committee passage of The Energy Policy Act of 2005. The extensive energy bill, which passed by a vote of 39 to 16, includes Upton's amendment to extend Daylight Saving Time (DST) by two months. The Energy Policy Act is expected to be considered by the full House next week.
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 and also mandates the Department of Energy to study the impact of DST on the nation's energy consumption. Upton's DST amendment was added to the comprehensive energy bill on April 6 with broad, bipartisan support.
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 ten 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 100,000 barrels of oil each day, or approximately 1 percent of the nation's energy consumption. (PLEASE NOTE: Previous reports that indicated a savings of 10,000 barrels a day were incorrect due to a typographical error – the correct figure is 100,000 barrels a day – we apologize for any inconvenience.)
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 will improve the nation's electricity transmission capacity and reliability, steps that are needed to prevent future blackouts. The legislation promotes a cleaner environment by encouraging new innovations and the use of alternative fuels by the nation's auto industry. It also promotes clean coal technology and provides incentives for renewable energies and calls for the construction of a natural gas pipeline to extend from Alaska to the mainland U.S. The measure also encourages further nuclear and hydropower production.
The House of Representatives twice passed comprehensive energy legislation during the 108th Congress.
The "Energy Policy Act" passed the House on June 15, 2004, by a vote of 244 to 178 and it also passed the House on November 18, 2003, by a vote of 246 to 180. On November 21, 2003, the Senate denied cloture to break a filibuster on the energy bill by a vote of 57-40. (The vote was 58-40, but Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist switched his vote to keep open the possibility of reconsidering cloture again. Sixty votes are needed to end filibuster.) The Senate could not break the filibuster before the end of the 108th Congress.