Permanent DST could become reality in the US in 2023
On March 15th, the US Senate has approved the Sunshine Protection Act, which proposes to make DST permanent in all US States for economic and health-related reasons. With this, the bill now only has to pass the House of Representatives and President Biden to go into action. While originally proposed to be implemented immediately, airlines and postal providers have requested that it be put into effect in 2023.
A longstanding debate
It’s not the first time that permanent DST has been proposed or observed in the US. In 1974, in response to the 1973 oil crisis, DST was made permanent. However, support for the initiative dropped rapidly due to so many states experiencing harsh, dark winter mornings.
Over the years, a lot of experts such as economists and statisticians have weighed in on the discussion on whether or not to observe the yearly shift.
It should be noted, however, that many of those who propose to abolish DST advocate for permanent Standard Time, not permanent Daylight Saving Time.
In 2015, the Nevada Senate urged Congress to allow individual states to observe year-round DST but never received any decision from Congress.
The Sunshine Protection Act, which has now been approved by the Senate, was written in 2019.
Is permanent DST a good idea?
The arguments for permanent DST are both economic and public health-related. It would prevent more than 10% of motor fatalities per year, and a great number of strokes. Also,longer hours of sunlight could lead to increased economic activity.
On the downside, permanent DST does not align well with the human internal clock or circadian rhythm. The implementation, according to such authorities as to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, would lead to a permanent ‘social jetlag’ that could have serious consequences for the health of the general population. For this reason, the AASM and other organizations advocate for permanent Standard Time, as this aligns better with human physiology.