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Utah News

So, What's The Deal With Daylight Saving Time?

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CURIOSITY.COM
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In March we spring forward,  and now its time to fall back. Some people love it, while others hate it. Yes, its that time of year again where we need to change our clocks - at least this time we will gain an extra hour of sleep.

Why we have the practice of daylight saving time has to do with creating more hours when the sun is up. While changing the time does not add daylight, it gives people further from the equator more sunlight in the summer months.

There’s much debate about who this really benefits. Historically, farmers were the only group that banded together and lobbied against it back in 1919. Dale Newton, the chief executive officer at Utah Farm Bureau quotes from the policy the Farm Bureau adopted three years ago.

“'We support mountain daylight savings time with time changes in the spring and fall.' That’s it, that’s our policy on daylight saving time," Newton said. "And I remember a couple years ago at convention, we did have some discussion on that and that’s what I’m saying, some people were in favor, some people are opposed. It didn’t seem to matter whether they were rural or urban. It didn’t seem to matter whether they were young or old. Everybody had a different perception of it based on their particular interest and their needs.” 

So, where did this idea of time change come from? 

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the “true founder” of daylight saving time was an Englishman named William Willet. He came up with the idea while on a morning horse ride back in 1907. He noticed that the house’s shutters were tightly closed even though the sun had risen, and from that experience, he started his light saving campaign by writing his manifesto called The Waste in Daylight.

Fast forward to today, people are debating whether or not we still need to observe this time change. Marsha Judkin of the Utah House of Representatives sponsored a bill that moved to make daylight saving time year-round.

“States can only choose now to stay on standard time year-round or to change their clocks. It seems as if the more popular alternative is to do daylight saving time year-round, which gives us more daylight in the evening hours. And because that isn’t allowed by the federal government, it's really hard to get any kind of legislation through,” she said.  

Support from Utah’s House and Senate on making daylight saving time year-round was sent to Senator Wayne Harper in DC. This year, there is another bill that will be introduced on the topic.

“If we pass it in the Utah House and Senate, it would say that Utah would go to permanent daylight saving time as soon as two conditions are met," Judkin said. "The first one is the federal government gave permission and the second one is that four states in our region also voted to go to permanent daylight saving time.”  

For now, all we need to make sure we do is remember to set our clocks back and enjoy that extra hour of sleep we will be getting this weekend.