A coalition of bipartisan Senators reintroduced a bill on Tuesday that would make Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanent, thereby ending the need to change the clocks.
The Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 would only apply to states who currently participate in DST by getting rid of Standard Time, which lasts between November and March when clocks are turned back one hour. If passed, Americans wouldn’t be forced to change their clocks twice a year. (RELATED: Since The US Is Springing Forward, Here’s The History Behind Daylight Saving Time)
Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), brought forward the legislation, along with other senators on the left and right side of aisle.
“The call to end the antiquated practice of clock changing is gaining momentum throughout the nation,” Rubio said in a statement.
Rubio’s home state of Florida enacted similar legislation back in 2018 that implemented year-round DST. In order for the change to apply, however, a change in the federal status was required, according to a press release from Rubio. Fifteen other states have also passed similar laws and resolutions.
Soon we will have to comply with the senseless twice a year “time change”.
We need to pass my bill to make daylight savings permanent.
More daylight in the evenings results in fewer car accidents & robberies. And it allows kids to play outside longer.#LockTheClock
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 10, 2021
Rubio cited the potential reduction of risk for cardiac issues, stroke and season depression as a few of the reasons DST should be permanent. Furthermore, the Brookings Institute found in 2015 that robberies were reduced by 27% because of additional daylight hours in the evening.
James Lankford (R-OK), who supported the bill, said the move was needed especially after the past year.
“In a year that feels like it’s been in complete darkness, Senator Rubio and I have provided a solution to provide more sunlight by making Daylight Saving Time permanent,” he said. “Congress created Daylight Savings decades ago as a wartime effort, now it is well past time to lock the clock and end this experiment.”
Experts from the Energy Department found in 2008 that the extended four weeks of DST saved 0.5% of total energy consumption per day.
DST was enacted in the United States after Germany’s 1916 effort to conserve fuel during the First World War. The U.S. officially implemented the standardized system in 1966 with the Uniform Time Act.
“Americans’ lifestyles are very different than they were when Daylight Saving Time began more than a century ago,” said a Democratic senator from Rhode Island, Sheldon Whitehouse, who also supported the bill.
“Making Daylight Saving Time permanent will end the biannual disruptions to daily life and give families more daylight hours to enjoy after work and school,” he added.