Thursday, July 21, 2005

Time to Change Again?

In all the hurly-burly about John Roberts and Karl Rove (no, they weren’t seen making out in the back of Karl’s minivan — more’s the pity), this little bit of news got by me.

A joint Senate-House committee working out the details of a broad energy bill voted yesterday to expand U.S. daylight saving time by two months to help reduce energy consumption.


Yesterday, House and Senate conferees agreed to move the start of daylight saving time to the first Sunday in March. The end of daylight saving time would be delayed until the last Sunday in November.

Supporters say that extending daylight saving time would save about 100,000 barrels of oil a day because offices and stores would be open while it was still light outside and would use less energy.

That would give us DST for almost nine months. Why bother? Why not just shift to DST year-round? We had year-round DST back during the Nixon administration’s first energy crisis in 1973. I was living here in Florida and it didn’t seem to make that much difference, but then again, the further south you go, the less change there is in the length of daylight between winter and summer. I can imagine, though, that up north it would make a big difference.

I think it’s just a trick to mess with the people in Indiana. They just went through a huge battle in their state legislature to finally get the state to switch to DST, and now Congress is having the last laugh at the expense of the Hoosier state…which is as good a reason as any.