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Not Everyone Wants to Extend Daylight Savings

Posted - Jul. 27, 2005 at 4:56 p.m.

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John Daley Reporting It's something every Utah family does, move the clocks forward an hour in the spring and an hour back in the fall. Now an energy bill in Congress could change when we do it, but not everyone is happy about it.

Despite calls to reduce America's reliance on foreign oil, a major energy bill won't do much to change that. But Congress is including a measure that will be a big change for many, extending daylight savings an extra four weeks a year.

Rep. Ed Markey, (D) Massachussetts: "In addition to energy savings, less traffic fatalities, less crime and more economic activity, daylight saving time also brings a smile to everyone's face."

First introduced in World War One, the main goal is reduced fuel consumption.

Dr. David Prerau, Author "Seize the Daylight": "With daylight savings time, we can go an hour later in the evening before we turn on the lights and that saves energy for almost everyone."

Just how much will be saved is a matter of debate. Members of Salt Lake's Chamber of Commerce held a forum on energy policy today. The head of one major Utah energy company says the change won't alter the fact US energy demand keeps rising.

Keith Rattie, Questar Corp. CEO: "To the extent that it leads to less energy usage during those periods of the year, it will help, but it won't have a material impact on the fundamentals."

One group not happy about it is the National PTA, which doesn't want kids traveling to school before sunrise.

Melinda Peterson, West Jordan Mother: "I'm worried about the darkness issue, kids walking in the dark."

Ronda Rose, Utah PTA: "It means they will be walking to school in the dark, later in the fall and earlier in the spring. And that's our biggest concern, that the safety of our children needs to be foremost when they're looking at this."

Critics say if Congress really wants to get serious about energy it should raise fuel efficiency standards. Lawmakers aim to finish work on the energy bill and bring it to the floor of both houses for a vote by the end of next week.


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