Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Daylight Savings Time No More: President Obama Issues Executive Order Eliminating Time Change

Daylight Savings Time will be a thing of the past come this fall as President Obama has issued an executive order abolishing the twice a year time change. The announcement came on the heels of petition drives in several states to eliminate the time switch as states are not required by federal law to follow the switch.

“The American people have spoken,” President Obama declared in a press release, further stating that “in addition to the twice yearly headaches of switching the clocks, numerous scientific studies have indicated that the change of sleep patterns are correlated with increased risk of heart attacks, decreased productivity at work, and both road and workplace accidents.” The president also went on to call the elimination of the time change as “long over-due.”

Come this fall, the clocks will be set back 30 minutes in all 50 states to split the difference between Daylight Savings and Standard times, never to be moved in either direction again.

For many people across the nation, eliminating the need to switch the clocks back and forth twice a year brings relief.

According to a 2013 Gallup Poll, 63% of people surveyed called the yearly ritual of changing the clocks as “somewhat” or “very” bothersome and 87% admitted to having been late or early for work at least once in their career because of forgetting to switch the clocks. 71% of people surveyed liked the additional daylight in the evening though only 23% said that they were able to take full advantage of it without sacrificing sleep due to work/school/daycare schedules. On the other end of the day, 54% of respondents said that they “definitely” or “probably” wouldn't mind sunrise taking place an hour later in summer with 88% of these people citing work/school/daycare schedules as the reason. Lastly, 91% of people surveyed did not even know why the time change started at all.

The idea of springing the clocks ahead an hour came about during World War I as a way to save on coal, which was the primary method of firing power plants at the time. After the War, most nations that adopted the time change eliminated it until the advent or World War II, after which many of the same nations decided to keep the time switch even though there was no worldwide standardization for stop/start dates as well as the length of the change itself.

For its part to ensure uniformity, the United States enacted the Uniform Time Act in 1966, which standardized the stop/start dates across the nation as well as calling for a uniform 1-hour switch. However, the Act did not mandate states to observe the time switch at all. Currently, Arizona and Hawaii do not switch the clocks.

“Times and technology are changing . . . between an often 24-hour workplace in many industries, increasingly busy lifestyles, and ever more fuel efficient means of both generating and using power, it has been demonstrated that there is not enough energy savings to necessitate pushing the clocks forward for 8 months of the year at the price of creating both headaches and hazards for the American people,” Obama said in a press release.

So, for people who enjoy an extra hour of daylight in the evening, enjoy it as, come next year, it will be a thing of the past.

For more info:

Petitions Demand End to Time Change
White House Press Release

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