As Daylight Saving Looms, Suppose We Spring Forward, and Never Fall Back? – The New York Times

Josh Yokela, a Republican state legislator in New Hampshire, is working on a way around that problem. He is the lead sponsor of a bill, passed by the State House last month, to request that New Hampshire be shifted into the Atlantic time zone, which by fine coincidence would do exactly what daylight saving does now: put the state an hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Then the state would opt out of seasonal clock changes, as the 1966 law allows.

The key is that moving to a different time zone does not require an act of Congress — all it takes is an order from the Transportation Department, the federal agency that oversees time (a legacy of its duties regulating railroad schedules).

“We would be on the same time as the rest of the Eastern time zone for eight months of the year, because they accept daylight saving time — and when they fall back in the winter, we wouldn’t,” Mr. Yokela said.

Of course, it matters what your neighbors’ clocks say, and not just your own. Regional considerations played a role both in how daylight time first appeared a century ago, and in the debate over what to do about it now.

New Hampshire’s bill, for example, says that because the state is so closely tied economically with the other New England states, especially Maine and Massachusetts, it would only try the jump to Atlantic time if the others did as well.

Proximity also had ripple effects in the 1920s, when New York City, having tasted daylight saving as a temporary measure during World War I, decided to keep it in peacetime. Retailers found that people shopped and spent more on their way home from work when there was more evening light, and Wall Street investors liked gaining an hour of overlap with trading on the London financial markets.

Supporters also argued that nudging the clock forward to have more of a summer’s daylight fall in the evening would save energy by reducing the need for artificial light.

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