Here Comes More Sun

Daylight Saving Amendment to energy bill accepted; would add 4 weeks

WASHINGTON -- The Energy Conference Committee agreed late last week to extend daylight saving time by four weeks. The amendment to shorten the winter, lengthen the summer and save energy by extending daylight saving time by four weeks, was first introduced by Representatives Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass).

Today, we shed some additional light on the need for conservation with our daylight saving extension, said Upton. Not only will Americans have more daylight at their disposal for an additional four weeks of the year, we will also [image-nocss] be keeping our energy consumption as a nation down. Kids across the nation will soon rejoice with the extended daylight on Halloween night that will allow for an additional hour of trick or treating. Studies by a leading auto safety group have also shown that extending daylight saving will save dozens of lives on the roads each year.

The beauty of daylight saving time is that it just makes everyone feel sunnier, said Markey, a senior member of the Energy & Commerce Committee and the author of the 1986 legislation that added three weeks of daily savings time to the calendar.

The accepted legislation would extend daylight saving by four weeks, starting the second Sunday of March and lasting through the first Sunday of November. The extension of daylight saving would become effective one year after the enactment of the energy bill. The bill also calls for a study on the impact of daylight saving on energy consumption to be conducted no later than nine months after the enactment of the bill.

Extending daylight saving time makes sense, especially with skyrocketing energy costs. My daylight saving amendment is one small piece of the overall energy package, and with oil at $60 a barrel and gas at $2.50 a gallon, every bit of conservation helps, concluded Upton.

The Upton-Markey amendment is supported by studies which show that early daylight saving time and longer days decrease the number of fatal traffic accidents, reduce crime rates, and provide relief for individuals suffering from night blindness. A broad coalition of groups including organizations like the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation Fighting Blindness, and an array of small businesses which support American pastimes, from barbecues to baseball to boating support the legislation to extend daylight saving.

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