More States Moving to Keep Daylight Saving Time Permanent

Plus, DST is NOT for Farmers!

March 10, 2021
Clock in Grass
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Last week, a group of bipartisan senators reintroduced the Sunshine Protection Act, legislation that would make Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanent across the country. This push to end the practice of clock-changing twice a year has been gaining momentum the past few years. Here’s the latest news on the time change.

Daylight Saving Time (DST) begins on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November in the U.S. and Canada. In March, we “spring” forward and set clocks forward one hour. In November, we “fall” back and set clocks back one hour. Learn more about When Daylight Saving Time Begins and Ends

It’s a popular myth that Daylight Saving Time exists for farmers. This practice—which only became regular in 1966, suprisingly enough—was actually challenged by farmers and is being increasingly challenged by modern society today.

The reasons that DST was started (as a wartime effort over a century ago) are now antiquated and many Americans find the twice-a-year “time change” makes little sense. In addition, there are many studies that show the negative impact of biannual time changes and the benefits of a year-round Daylight Saving Time.

Latest Updates (March 2021)

In March 2021, a bipartisan bill called the “Sunshine Protection Act of 2021” was submitted for consideration in the U.S. Senate. The bill aims to end the time change and make DST permanent across the United States. Bottom-line, the bill would simply negate the need for Americans to change their clocks twice a year. 

The bill has been co-sponsored by eight senators—both Democrats and Republicans—so chances are good that it will at least be considered. If you support this change, consider contacting your state’s senators to let them know!

Daylight Saving Time in the 1970s

Interestingly, Daylight Saving Time (DST) wasn’t a regular “thing” until April 12, 1966, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Uniform Time Act into law. This established a system of uniform (within each time zone) Daylight Saving Time rules throughout the U.S. and its territories. States were allowed to opt out (and some did).

The U.S. had Daylight Saving Time as early as 1918, but it was off and on. Namely, DST was briefly used during World War I and World War II to conserve fuel. It was used again for this purpose for a short while during the oil crisis of the early 1970’s under Nixon. (Read more about the checkered history of Daylight Saving Time.)

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Photo credit: Billion Photos/Shutterstock

Daylight Saving is NOT for Farmers

Despite the popular belief that Daylight Saving was a convenience created for farmers, DST has nothing to do with farming. In fact, farmers have often been the strongest lobby against the change. Farmers didn’t like DST when it was first introduced and most don’t like it to this day.

During the first World War I experiment in 1918, farmers were extremely opposed to having to turn back and forward their clocks. Not surprisingly, it disrupted their schedules and made it more difficult to get the most out of hired help.

Imagine telling a dairy cow used to being milked at 5 a.m. that their milking time needs to move back an hour before the milk truck is coming to do a pickup. For the farmer—and the plants and animals—it’s the sun and the seasons that determine the best times to do things.

After the war ended, the DST law (which lasted only 7 months) proved so unpopular with our agrarian society, the federal law was repealed in 1919. Some state and localities continued the observance, however. During another war, World War II, “War Time” was enforced by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It introduced year-round Daylight Saving Time from February 9, 1942, to September 30, 1945. 

From 1945 to 1966, observance of DST was quite inconsistent across U.S. states. There were no uniform rules. This caused massive confusion with the transportation industry and the broadcasting industry, which pushed for standardization. The farmers, however, were still opposed to it.

To address this confusion, the Uniform Time Act was established in 1966.

DST Practices Today

The current enactment was part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation is the federal agency responsible for overseeing DST and the country’s time zones. All states but Hawaii and Arizona (except for the Navajo Nation) observe DST.

  • Hawaii abandoned the law in 1967. In Hawaii, the sun rises and sets at about the same time every day, so why bother?
  • Arizona followed suit in 1968. Not setting clocks forward gives residents lower temperatures during waking and bedtime hours. 

The territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands also do not observe DST. Federal law allows a state to exempt itself from observing daylight saving time—upon action by the state legislature—but does not allow the permanent observance of DST.

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Photo Credit: Zaccio/Shutterstock

Does the Time Change Conserve Energy?

  • Department of Energy report from 2008 found that during the 4 weeks the U.S. extended daylight savings from the 2005 law, there were savings of about 0.5 percent in electricity per day. Later studies have also shown that the energy savings are minimal but a small savings does occur.

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Health and Safety

Energy isn’t the only thing to be considered. What about our health and safety? 

  • More daylight in evenings results in fewer car crashes and pedestrian accidents, better aligning with drivers’ standard work hours and increase visibility, according to the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of Safety Research. 
  • It reduces the number of robberies by 27%, according to a 2015 Brookings Institution,
  • Studies have show that time changes result in a higher number of cardiac issues, stroke, and seasonal depression.
  • When clicks move back, there is a drop in economic activity and worker productivity of 2.2 percent – 4.9 percent, according to a study by JP Morgan Chase.
  • It would allow kids to play outside longer. During DST, children see an increase in physical activivty, which helps reduce childhood obesity and increase physical fitness, according to studies published by the International Journal Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity and the Journal of Physical Activity and Health
  • The Journal of Environmental Psychology found that DST increased pedestrian activity by 62% and cyclists activity by 38% because of additional daylight.
  • Finally, it helps the farmers, without disrupting their agricultural and livestock schedules and their supply chain partners.
  • What about November, when you get an extra hour of sleep? The reality is that most people don’t sleep any extra. And the disruption in the body’s daily sleep-wake cycle can affect sleep for several days.

► See 5 tips to help your body to adjust to Daylight Saving Time.

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A Movement to Eliminate Clock Changing

This movement is fairly recent. Since 2015, more than 200 bills and resolutions have been introduced in virtually every state to either stay on standard time or convert to year-round DST.

Until 2018, not much happened. Then, a movement began and there are now more than a dozen states that have enacted legislation to provide for year-round daylight saving time. 

  • In 2018, the Florida Sunshine Protection Act was passed in the state Legislature with overwhelming support for year-round daylight saving time. 
  • In 2018, California voters approved a proposition for year-round daylight saving time. But the proposition required a two-thirds vote of the California State Senate which was never brought to a vote because the federal government failed to give the state approval for the time change; the bill died.
    Unfortunately, the California State Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications did not bring AB 7 up for a vote and the bill died.”
  • In 2019, six more states passed legislation for year-round DST, if authorized by Congress: Arkansas, Delaware, Maine, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington. 
  • In 2020, Utah passed a bill to end the practice of “springing forward.“ Joining Utah were: Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Wyoming. 

As of March 2021, fifteen states — Arkansas, Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming — have passed laws, resolutions or voter initiatives for permanent DST, and dozens more are looking. 

It’s All Up to the Federal Government

The problem: A federal statue is require for any state to enact changes. As discussed above, the time is set by the Uniform Time Act, which was established in 1966 for a synchronized DST schedule across the country.

When the Energy Policy Act extended the hours in 2005, Congress retained the right to revert back should the change prove unpopular or if energy savings are not significant. However, it now takes an act of Congress to make the change.

  • States are only granted the right to opt out of observing daylight saving time—and remain on standard time—without any federal say (e.g., Hawaii). 
  • However, most states wish to stop switching the clocks and establishes DST as the official time year-round. This would require Congress to approve an amendment to the Uniform Time Act. 

If the re-introduced Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 was passed by the Senate, it would indeed negate Standard Time, which only lasts between November to March, when Americans turn their clocks back one hour. Americans would keep DST, which currently lasts from March to November, and wouldn’t have to change their clocks twice a year. 

Only time will tell if this bill gains enough traction to pass, but public opinion seems to be in favor. The bill has the support of at least eight senators—both Democrats and Republicans—right from the start, so chances are good that the bill will be considered. If you’re interested in showing your support, consider contacting your state’s senators and voicing your opinion!

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Our European Counterparts

This brings us to our European contemporaries. They also practice Daylight Saving Time. For most of Europe, DST:

  • Begins at 1:00 a.m. GMT on the last Sunday of March
  • Ends at 1:00 a.m. GMT on the last Sunday of October

In 2018, European Parliament drafted a law to permanently remove biannual clock changes in the European Union. The law proposed that 2021 would be the last time EU Member States and affiliated countries would follow the seasonal clock change.  However, due to COVID, the plans for removing the time change have been postponed. 

Other countries have already ended seasonal clock changes, including Argentina (2009), Russia (2014), and Turkey (2016).

In conclusion, just as is the case with North Americans, the EU population overwhelmingly wants to abolish the clock changes during the year. In the case of the EU, member states would have the option to go permanently to summer (daylight) time or winter (standard) time. A poll was conducted in which 80% were in favor of eliminating the time change. The head of the European Commission, which originally drafted the directive to end DST, said, “It would be pointless to ask for people’s opinions and not act on it if you don’t agree with them.”
 

What do you think about Daylight Saving Time? Tell us in the comments below!

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Reader Comments

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DST forever

Don’t change time back

DST forever

Don’t change time back

Either way just stop changing

I do not care which way it goes- just stop messing with the clocks. I’m from the pnw so it would get pretty dark in the winter if we go with DST... I think I’d rather have long summer nights and some light in the winter so sticking with standard time would be nicer I think. But really I just want to STOP going back and forth!

Standard Time Permanently

Standard Time should be permanent. It's called Standard time because that was the normal time before all this DST nonsense was introduced. Standard time also balances out better overall and it aligns more naturally with the seasons and when everything is taken into consideration, it makes the most sense Logically. Those who vote for DST are only considering their own personal and selfish impacts and aren't considering the entire US overall.

End DST!

The point is to END Daylight Saving Time, not make it permanent. I very much want to go back to standard time round the clock. Having 'more time' at night, causes everyone to stay up later, making people eat supper later, kids do homework later, and it generally messes up everything. Please, just get rid of this stupid DST once and for all.

DST should be permanent

DST should be permanent. That's all...

DST no longer makes sense. As

DST no longer makes sense. As stated, farmers don't want it and it really doesn't matter about the daylight. People will go out and about whether there's more daylight in the evening or not. Also like the farmers say, the cows has to be milked the same time no matter what the clocks say. When they are ready to be milked, clock or no clock, it has to be done! Stop changing the time.

Standard time is stupid

DST benefits states in the northeasternmost part of their time zone, so all these loonies who want permanant standard time are not enjoying the sun after work or they live at the southwesternmost part of their time zones where the extra light at night is minimal. Boohoo your kid has to go to school in the dark, criminals aren’t morning people. Kids- especially teens- shouldn’t be at school before 8:30am anyways so problem solved. Having the sun set before 4pm is traumatic unless you are fortunate enough to be able to ski at night. I don’t know who is experiencing all this extra light in the morning before work because the first two months of standard time are still dark when I get up at 7:30. Having light after work or school gives the person an opportunity to be productive and enjoy life after work/school instead of wanting to go to sleep. Yes, there is the circadian rhythm, but you naturally want to go to sleep when it is dark. Standard doesn’t even make sense if it is four months. Maybe the problem is the time zones.

Day light time

I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE MORE DAY LIGHT IN THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING. WHY IS EVERYONE SO WORRIED ABOUT KIDS GOING TO SCHOOL IN THE DARK? THEY ARE IN CLASS ROOMS. WE AS ADULTS ARE WHATS IMPORTANT HERE. WE ARE THE ONES WHO HAVE TO DEAL WITH BEING IN AND OUT MORNING AND NIGHT. GET UP IN THE MORNING AND GET YOUR DAY GOING AND OVER WITH YOU WILL HAVE TIME LEFT TO ENJOY WHEN YOU GET HOME . NOBODY WANTS TO GO HOME IN THE DARK AND HAVE A ENDED DAY . WAKE UP PEOPLE ! THINK ABOUT WHAT REALKY MATTERS

Day light savings time

I very much prefer to stay with day light savings time year round. I do not like the early dark hours it is very unproductive. There is so much to be said for day light savings time.

Keep the switching going - it just makes sense

David S. Prerau, the author of the definitive “Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time,” said the practice of switching between standard and saving time has always been controversial.
Advocates say permanent daylight time saves lives, reduces crime and serves as a public-health boon by getting people out, moving and recreating after work. However, opponents, including experts in depression and sleep science, say that it’s morning — not evening — light that sets our natural circadian rhythms.

Prerau said the first record of the concept goes back to Benjamin Franklin, a night owl who one day in 1784 woke earlier than usual and noticed it was completely light outside! He realized he could save on candles if he were to shift his clock forward and do his writing by sunlight.
In 1895, a New Zealand entomologist suggested moving the clock forward two hours to allow more prime bug-catching light in the evening. In 1905, William Willett began a campaign, backed for a time by Winston Churchill, to advance clocks by 80 minutes in four 20-minute steps during April and reverse them the same way during September.
In 1916, two years into World War I, the German government started brainstorming ways to save energy, Prerau said, and seized on the idea championed across the channel.
“They remembered Willett’s idea of moving the clock forward and having more daylight during working hours,” he said. “While the British were talking about it year after year, the Germans decided to do it.”
In those days, he said, using daylight to light factories really did save energy and fuel costs.
Soon, England and the U.S. followed suit. In 1918, Congress enacted its first daylight saving law and established the Standard Time Act that defined the nation’s time zones.
While “it’s always unpleasant to lose an hour of sleep,” Prerau said, he supports the current model.
Daylight saving time “has benefits and is very good for spring, summer and fall and not so good in the winter.”
In response to an energy crisis in the 1970s, the U.S. temporarily adopted permanent daylight saving time. But people did not like a season of waking up in the cold and dark, and the idea proved so unpopular Congress repealed it after one year, Prerau said.
The negative effect of switching the clock twice a year lasts a few days, he said, “but having dark mornings lasts for 120 days.”

NOOOO

NO NO NO NO! the idea is to END daylight savings time _ NOT MAKE IT YEAR ROUND!!! I swear politicians mess EVERYTHING up and get it ALLL backwards! END DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME

DST

I'm all for not changing the clocks anymore, although nowadays unless you look at your microwave or maybe the car clock, you don't even know the time changed.
My question is why would we make DST permanent? Why wouldn't we make the REAL time permanent? DST by definition is an artificial time change.

Pick One and Stick with It!

Personally I like DST, but more importantly don't keep changing. We need to just pick one and be done. The sun will rise and set on it's own time and once we aren't changing, people adjust to the norm. The hardest part is constantly changing and only for 4 months at tht. I think the push for DST is because it's the longest period, not ST. I'm ready to not have the effects on me and everyone I'm around.

Get Rid of DST

We should get rid of DST and keep Standard Time. If we went to DST all year, sunrise in December would be at 9:00 a.m. Kids would be going to school most of the year in the dark and many people would have to commute in the dark. Plus we'd do away with 10:00 p.m. sunsets in June.

DST is when the clocks are needlessly set ahead in Spring

No one is confused about which is DST and which is standard time Cathie Ochoa, except maybe you and Christine, LOL! Standard time is the normal time that we observe during fall and winter. DST is the ridiculously stupid time that is observed when we set the clocks ahead in spring! If we leave the time set to DST permanently, like uneducated people recommend, then our children will be standing out at bus stops and traveling to school an hour earlier during fall and winter freezing there butts off in the dark! Standard time would allow the sun to come up a little and begin to warm things up and shine some light for the children, just like it does now during standard time. Abolish DST and leave STANDARD time as the ONLY time!!

Make STANDARD time STANDARD (Not DST!)

What is wrong with these politicians? Standard Time is standard time - that's the time it should be!! Things are already messed up doing this time change twice a year why would we make an artificial Time by making DST the default. That's some stupid selfish human construct. STANDARD time should be the standard. Sorry about being so passionate my comment but people are not thinking this through. The bills put forward through Congress should Not make daylight savings time standard... remember, that's the made-up thing.. no one wants to see the sun in the sky at 9 at night...

Abolish DST Entirely!

Do the people who support DST year round realize that if that is adopted the sun won't rise in the winter months until 8:30am or later? And it would still get dark in the evening around 5:30pm? Here in California, with the advent of DST, the sun will rise tomorrow at 7:28am, and we are about a week away from the Spring Equniox. On permanent DST at the Winter Solstice that means the sun will rise at about 8:30am. I will be going to work in the pitch black for months, not to mention the fact that since school starts at 8:00am or earlier, kids will be in school well before the sun rises. Yes, there is an extra hour of light in the evening, but does that really compensate in energy savings, retail spending and car crash fatalities for the fact that it is darker longer in the morning? We are using the lights longer in the morning, that negates any minute energy savings there may be. And with everyone commuting to work in the dark and kids on their way to school, I can't imagine that car crash fatalities would really be any less. These things need to be seriously considered before we vote on the Sunshine Protection Act. Year round DST didn't work in 1974 and I see no reason it will work now. I for one, don't want to be at work for an hour or more before the sun rises. I only hope our Senators consider realities of this change before they vote!

DST

I hate Daylight Saving time! I like it when it falls back to "normal" time. I would like to see it fall back and stay there. It may have been a good thing in the past during certain times, but now it seems totally unnecessary. I like the normal feel of time when it falls back. Fall back and KEEP it there.

Daylight Savings

I absolutely agree with Christine on March 13. Some of you guys are confusing which is DST and which is standard time. You actually want daylight savings time, but you THINK it is standard time. What a mess. I hope you government know-it-alls are happy with this monster you have created. Personally I prefer not waking up at 4:30 AM (standard time in the summer); 5:30 AM is early enough! I vote to keep DST and make it permanent. Since the origin of the hours has always been arbitrary (WE MADE IT UP TO START WITH, FOLKS), "standard time" has no real value. It would not change anything to keep DST, except that from here on out we would be one hour in the hole.

Abolish DST!

No Christine, we are not confused! DST is stupid! If you have permanent DST, do you realize how dark and cold it will be on the Winter and Fall mornings when kids are going to school!?!? Another really bad aspect of DST, especially in southern states like Texas and Louisiana, is that it takes forever to get the house cooled down in the evenings when it's time for bed! That extra hour of sun radiating on the roof and attic really make the air conditioner work extra hard to bring indoor temps down to a comfortable sleeping level. Not to mention the extra utility cost to do so. Here in Houston Texas, the Sun is shining till 9:00 PM during DST...that's just STUPID!! The intelligent and natural vote is to keep Standard time year round and abolish DST!!!

Insanity

Changes clocks twice a year equates to the definition of insanity: Continuing to do the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Abolish DST

It does no good. Kids out playing? Where? Most of them won't get off of the couch and put those devices down, and god forbid they do any outside chores. It certainly hasn't done anything for Childhood Obesity since many of these children are 200 pounds in the fourth grade. And the obesity rates are climbing every decade.

Go back to natural sun time and STAY there.

Get Rid Of DST

Enough is enough already, we should have gotten rid of this a long time ago! It doesn't do any good. I say we should stay on standard time. The days regulate themselves naturally, getting longer, and getting shorter.

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME

I HATE IT. SHOULD BE STOPPED.

Moving to Permanent DST

Moving to permanent DST would be a stupid. We actually tried this before in 1973-1974 during the Yom Kippur War. People complained about sending their kids to school in the dark, and the overall depressing atmosphere. As a university student going to what was then a strictly commuter college, it was depressing traveling that long hour to school. There were other problems which I no longer remember, but I do know that in general, people hated year-long DST. That is why the experiment was terminated in October of 1974.

Let us learn from history and not make the same mistake twice. If we really do not like going back between daylight savings time and standard time every year, then eliminate daylight savings time, and make standard time the law of the land. Something else we might want to consider is changing the time zone boundaries, or even adding fractional time zones, like Newfoundland Standard Time has.

However, don't just jump to DST and make it permanent. We will all regret it.

Daylight Saving Time

Time to get back to the Original and Natural Time! Standard Time!
DST is Not Natural or Original!
Humans and animals have an internal ‘clock’ that is more accurate. We as humans have a tendency to think and even have the right to control the Sun and the Moon and Nature as well. There might have been a valid reason in the past to change the ‘Clock Time’.
That time is in the past!
It’s time to do a thorough investigation and find out whether DST is advantageous to continue each year or made into federal law and be imposed on the entire United States.
Thank you for asking for a comment, on what I think is a very important subject! TAG

I can’t stand daylight saving time

I do not like messing with natural time. All DST does is move when we turn on lights from one end of the day to another. During the summer months the days are longer anyway, why disrupt that? If states insist on leaving natural time, at least split the difference, and only change the time by half an hour instead of an entire hour. That way we won’t be too far off sun time, especially during the fall and winter.

DST

I hate it, leave it alone. All it does is screw up mine and everyone else schedule.

DST

I hate it, leave it alone. All it does is screw up mine and everyone else schedule.

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