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Permanent Daylight Saving Time: Not As Good As It Sounds

The Sunshine Protection Act has moved through the United States Senate. The bill attempts to make DST permanent, but that's not totally good

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Daylight Saving Time has been a hot topic over the last few days, and not just because we recently switched from Standard to Daylight Saving Time. On Tuesday, March 15th, the United States Senate unanimously passed the Sunshine Protection Act. This is a bill that would make Daylight Saving Time (DST) a permanent feature in our daily lives. 

The bill will move to the United States House of Representatives and then potentially onto the President's Desk where it could be signed into law. If the bill is signed, it would first be put into action in November 2023.  

This concept sounds pretty great on the surface, but dig a little deeper, and it's not as great as it sounds. 

There is some good. If we stay on DST all year, there would never again be sunset before 5:00 PM. The days of a 4:35 PM sunset would be in our past. The bad news is that for most of the time during the period of late November through February sunrise would not occur until some time between 7:30 AM and 8:00 AM. This means most kids would be at school and most adults would be at work before we see the sun. 

If we were to get rid of DST and keep Standard Time all year, the good and the bad are a little less black and white. A couple of things would happen and those things have pros and cons. 

In a Standard Time all the time situation, there would be about three months out of the year where sunrise would be before 5:00 AM. This could be good because it means we'd achieve peak heating earlier and the afternoons would be a bit more comfortable. The thing is, there would never be a day during the Summer when the sun would set after 8:00 PM. 

In this Standard Time all the time theory we would still have the pre-5:00 PM Sunsets. In this theory, there would be 284 days where the sun sets after 5:00 PM compared to the 295 days with the current arrangement. 

So which is better? There's no correct answer. It's a matter of opinion on where you would prefer to have the majority of your daylight.