Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has reintroduced legislation to make Daylight Saving Time permanent across the country, which he says would end the «old-fashioned practice» of changing clocks twice a year.
“This ritual of changing the time twice a year is stupid. Locking the clock has overwhelming popular and bipartisan support. This Congress, I hope we can finally do this,» Rubio said in a statement Thursday.
The bill, called the Sunshine Protection Act, passed the Senate last year by unanimous consent, meaning no senators opposed it. But it stalled in the House and expired at the end of the last session of Congress.
If enacted, daylight saving time, which begins in March and ends in November, would become permanent year-round in the US.
American Samoa, most of Arizona, Guam, Hawaii, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands do not observe daylight saving time and would not be required to do so under the law.
Several senators from both parties cosponsored the original bill, including James Lankford, R-Okla., Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., Rick Scott, R-Fla., Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., and Ed Markey, D-Mass.
“Alabama residents have overwhelmingly expressed their support for the Sunlight Protection Act, and I promised them that I would continue to push to end the outdated practice of setting our clocks twice a year,” Tuberville said in a statement shared by Ruby’s office. “It is time for the United States to move forward and stop retreating. Congress should listen to the people and make Daylight Saving Time permanent.»
Markey said: “It is time for Congress to broaden its horizons and finally make daylight saving time permanent. With the Sun Protection Act, we can brighten the darkest days of the year and provide more sun, more smiles, and brighter skies.”
Rep. Vern Buchanan, Republican of Florida, has introduced additional legislation at home.
“Making daylight saving time permanent has enormous health and economic benefits,” Buchanan said in a statement. the rest of the country to summer time throughout the year.
The United States first adopted daylight saving time in 1918 to save oil and electricity during World War I. But now, it is not associated with energy saving.
TO 2011 study found that Indiana households were costing an additional $9 million per year in electric bills because they were spending more on heating and cooling, even though people were using the lights less frequently.
«The real reason this policy came up and we first started using it was for energy, and right now it’s a completely open question whether or not it saves energy,» said Matthew Kotchen, a professor of economics at Yale University. who conducted the research.
The country last experimented with permanent daylight saving time in 1974, but that ended less than a year later after eight Florida children were killed in traffic accidents blamed on the change.
«Whenever it’s been tried in a few places, they often repeal it shortly after,» Kotchen said.