Congress debates the survival of daylight savings

Daylight savings under debate in the United States


Sun starts to set at 4:50 P.M. in the fall during non-daylight savings time.

For more than one hundred years, millions of Americans have moved their clocks forward in the spring and then backward in the fall. Many people have developed mixed feelings about still changing the clocks when only a small number of countries around the world continue to participate in daylight saving time. However, this may not be the case for much longer. 

The origins of daylight saving time dates back to when residents of Port Arthur, Ontario Canada turned their clocks forward by one hour in hopes of “making better use of the daylight.” Germany and Austria then began the process of daylight saving in 1916 during World War 1 as a way to conserve fuel. A common myth surrounding daylight savings is that it was originally developed for farmers, yet this was not the case since the agriculture industry lobbied against daylight saving time in 1919.

Despite being unpopular, the United States officially adopted daylight saving when the Uniform Time Act was created in 1966, which mandated the standard time across the Country within established time zones.

 Today, places in the U.S., such as Hawaii, Arizona and the Virgin Islands, have decided to permanently opt out of changing the clocks twice a year and with current events, the remainder of the United States may not be far behind.

On March 16, 2022, the Senate passed a measure that would make daylight saving time permanent across the U.S. The Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act, but it is still waiting to be passed in the House and to be signed by President Joe Biden. If signed, the law it would mean no more falling back every year in the fall.  

In the past, bills have been proposed at the federal level to move clocks forward by an hour permanently across the Country, but none have successfully passed through Congress. Currently, fifteen states, including Delaware, Florida, Maine and Georgia are attempting to pass bills to adopt a year-round daylight saving time. This would not affect much of the United States since it would only be an hour of difference.

Now, the idea of daylight savings is being reconsidered down to the minute. As the world begins to change into standard time permanently, actively changing the clocks during daylight savings may soon become a thing of the past.