Do we need it?
A bill that is making its way through the State House of Representatives answers this question with a “no.”
Daylight saving time (DST) – one hour ahead in the spring and setback in the fall – was set federally, but states were given the option of opting out.
Russ Diamond, a Lebanese Company Republican, wrote in a legislative note that DST “Launched during the First World War in an attempt to save energy” but at “Has outlived its usefulness”.
According to the US Department of Transportation, DST is an energy saver.
“In summer time, the sun sets an hour later in the evening, reducing the need to use electricity for lighting and appliances.” the DOT suggests.
“People tend to spend more time outdoors at night during summer time, which reduces the need to use electricity in the home. Also, because sunrise is very early in the morning during the summer months, most people wake up after sunrise which means they turn on less light in their home.
DOT also shows a decrease in traffic accidents when people are traveling during daylight saving time during the day as well as a reduction in crime.
But Diamond argues that energy savings “have historically been negligible at best.
“Due to the proliferation of air conditioning, energy consumption during summer time can actually increase. The phasing out of incandescent bulbs further minimizes energy differentials. …. There is no national crisis that the clock change is helping to alleviate. “
The bill itself “declares that the single and uniform legal standard of time throughout this Commonwealth, including the municipalities of this Commonwealth, will be Eastern Standard Time and that daylight saving time will not be used as the standard of time.”
Procedurally, it is an amendment to an 1887 law “For the establishment of a uniform standard of time throughout the Commonwealth …”
Diamond’s memo highlights the negative side effects of daylight saving time.
“Studies have shown that car crashes, workplace injuries, heart attacks, strokes, cluster headaches, depression and suicides all increase within weeks of clock changes. he wrote. “These government-mandated interruptions to natural biological rhythms and sleep cycles can wreak havoc on job performance, academic performance, and overall physical / mental health. Clock changes force farmers to make unnecessary adjustments, as crops and animals live off the sun, not a timepiece. “
Diamond suggests that “Because ‘we have always done it like this’ is not a sufficient reason to continue the practice. “
He said legislation proposing to end daylight saving time has been introduced in more than a dozen states.
The bill was approved by the state government committee in a 15-9 vote on November 8. The result was largely partisan – one Republican broke ranks to vote no while two Democrats crossed the aisle in support of the measure.