Upton’s daylight saving extenstion passes U.S. House

Published 10:44 pm Friday, April 22, 2005

By Staff
WASHINGTON, DC - The House of Representatives Thursdaypassed sweeping energy legislation that included Congressman Fred Upton's (R-MI) amendment to extend Daylight Saving Time (DST) by two months.
Upton's bipartisan amendment, co-sponsored by Ed Markey (D-MA), extends 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. The bipartisan Energy Policy Act of 2005, H.R. 6, passed by a vote of 249 to 183.
"For four years, we have been working on comprehensive energy legislation, and I am confident that at the end of the day, folks will put the best interests of the nation ahead of petty politics and help get this bill to the President to be signed into law," said Upton.
"The sweeping energy legislation that passed the House today includes numerous provisions to ensure that all Americans have access to more efficient, affordable and environmentally friendly energy that they expect and deserve. My daylight saving amendment is one small piece of the overall energy package, and with rising energy costs, every bit of conservation helps."
Extending daylight in the 1970s saved the equivalent of 100,000 barrels of oil a day, or one percent of the nation's energy consumption. Taking the savings figure from the mid 1970s - 100,000 barrels of oil a day - and multiplying that by $50 a barrel for 60 days, the savings amounts to $300 million for the extended months.
"With the potential savings greater than $300 million each year, extending Daylight Saving Time is a common sense approach that will conserve energy as well as add a little more light to everyone's day," said Upton. "Not only will Americans have more daylight at their disposal during March and November days, we will also be keeping our energy consumption as a nation down."
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 100,000 barrels of oil each day, or approximately 1 percent of the nation's energy consumption.