WASHINGTON – House and Senate negotiators agreed Thursday to extend daylight-saving time by four weeks as part of a sweeping energy bill.
The provision is designed to save energy, but Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., one of the sponsors, said, “The beauty of daylight-savings time is that it just makes everyone feel sunnier.”
Under the measure, clocks would be turned forward an hour on the second Sunday of March and turned back the first Sunday of November.
Currently, daylight-saving time runs from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October. The extension would become effective one year after the enactment of the energy bill.
The extension was approved as congressional negotiators worked on an overhaul of U.S. energy policy that is a priority of President Bush’s and seeks to address the public’s concerns about high energy prices.
But before the extension of daylight-saving time can become law, negotiators must deal with other issues that doomed energy legislation two years ago – most notably a dispute over whether to give legal protections to producers of a gasoline additive, methyl tertiary-butyl ether, or MTBE, that has been blamed for fouling water supplies across the country.