Texans are as close as we have ever been to never again having to change our clocks twice a year, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The Texas House has overwhelmingly, by a vote of 133-9, advanced a Constitutional Amendment introduced by State Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) that calls for Texans to vote this November on whether to keep strandard time all year round, keep daylight saving time all year round, or to continue the current practice of 'springing forward and falling back.'
If voters approve the standard time year-round option, as ten states have done, the new permanent time would take effect January first, and clocks would never be changed again. If voters approved the daylight saving time year-round option, Congress would have to approve it. The Uniform Time Act currently allows states to observe half-year daylight saving time or year round standard time, but it does not allow the year-round daylight time option.
“The process of changing our clocks twice is each year is primitive and illogical,” said Larson. “Time is a human construct. With the passage of this resolution, Texans can decide which time to stick with. We could maintain our sleep schedules, feeling healthier and happier as a result. We could end a senseless practice that has many drawbacks and very few, if any, positive aspects.”
In addition to several states in the U.S., the European Union is also moving to abolish the twice a year time change.
The major motivating factor for daylight saving time was to save energy. While Daylight Saving Time, first called 'War Time' was adopted during World War I, the Uniform Time Act of 1966 established it as national policy, and President Carter in the 1970s urged Americans to move to Daylight time during the energy crisis.
The problem is, back in the sixties and seventies, fewer than half of America's home had central air conditioning, and used very inefficient tungsten-based light bulbs. In the sixties and seventies, keeping th sun up later in the summertime did in fact save energy, because people could keep those inefficient light bulbs off for a longer time.
But today, we have moved to far more efficient LED light bulbs, and air conditioning is now common in American homes. That means rather than saving energy, keeping the sun up later in the summer keeps homes hotter, which means the a/c runs later in the evening, actually costing us more electricity than we save.
In addition, new studies have found health and safety risks to changing the time twice a year, especially an elevated risk for traffic accidents.
"With the benefit of so many modern technological advancements, changing time each year has long outlasted its purpose and, as a result, is wildly unpopular with people across the country," Larson said.
But Daylight Time is supported by several industries, including retail and recreation, which benefit by having people be able to come to their malls, theme parks, and sporting events, knowing they will be back home before dark, and they are likely to fight the measure if the Senate goes along and it makes it to the voters.