Does Texas Really Need Daylight Saving Time?

Does Texas really need Daylight Saving Time? As we continue to kick the cobwebs out of hour heads from losing an hour of sleep last Sunday, more and more state lawmakers are questioning the bizarre practice of changing our clocks twice a year, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

State Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) is one of them.

"One of my concerns is, when kids go to bus stops in the morning, I don't want it to be pitch black," he said.

And the fact that Daylight Saving Time starts when those kids have been going to those bus stops for seven months and have a routine down which has been based on the sun shining while they wait for the bus makes that even more dangerous.

Menendez says Texas should stick with standard time.  A Congressional committee this week ordered a report into whether Daylight Saving Time actually does save energy, which was the original purpose when President Nixon signed the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act of 1973.

But critics point out that in 1973, less than half of all American homes were air conditioned, and the population of states like Texas, where air conditioning is a necessity, was a fraction of what it is today. 

The Texas population was 11.2 million in 1970, compared to more than 27 million today.  

The idea behind Nixon's order was to allow people to keep their lights off until later in the evening and save energy.  But today, with a/c almost everywhere, all it does is force people to run their air conditioning units later into the evening, because the sun staying up means the summer heat lingers, and that actually uses more energy.

"End Daylight Saving and this arbitrary swinging forward and falling back of the clock, and I think we can be fine with that," Menendez said.

"Measures have been introduced in the Texas Legislature for the last three sessions to eliminate Daylight Saving Time, but all have failed, due to the efforts of the retail and entertainment industries.

People are more likely to go to stores and malls after work if they can be sure that the sun will stay up all the way until they get home. 

Also, a sunnier evening is good news for recreational businesses ranging from theme parks to baseball games.The measure is certain to come up in the 2019 Legislative session.

Several states are debating laws to abolish the twice-yearly changing of the time.  The Florida Legislature just this week passed one and sent it to Gov. Rick Scott, who is expected to sign it.

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