Earlier today, President Donald Trump said that year-round daylight savings time (DST) in the United States “is O.K. with me!”:
Year-round DST is NOT O.K. with me!
In many parts of the country, particularly in the northwestern corner of a time zone in the contiguous U.S. (think of places like Marquette, Michigan and Minot, North Dakota, among others), year-round DST would result in local sunrise being quite a bit after 9 A.M. for multiple weeks around the winter solstice. I’m not sure about start times for public school days in Marquette and Minot, but, if I recall correctly, most U.S. public school days start at or before 9 A.M.. Unless the school day in areas of the country where school would start before sunrise were to be changed to start later in the day, this would result in schoolchildren in some parts of the country being dropped off at school before local sunrise before and after any intersemester break (i.e., winter break or Christmas break) that they may receive, which is very dangerous, as it is harder for motorists to see children in the dark or at twilight, potentially resulting in higher rates of children being hit by automobiles while going to school. Sunrise/sunset charts for 2019 for Marquette, Michigan and Minot, North Dakota, both of which factor in the current use of seasonal DST, can be found at the links in this sentence.
Despite DST being intended and marketed as a energy conservation measure, the current seasonal DST regime that is observed in the vast majority of this country (Hawaii and parts of Arizona that are not part of the Navajo Nation observe standard time year-round instead of observing seasonal DST) actually results in more energy being consumed, and this would likely be exacerbated if year-round DST were to be implemented:
In the United States, high-quality research indicates that DST reduces residential lighting costs but usually increases total energy consumption, especially when non-electricity sources of energy consumption are considered. These non-electricity sources of energy consumption include extra heating fuel on the colder, darker mornings and extra gasoline used to drive to shopping and sporting activities. In some cases, DST increases residential electricity consumption, such as when people use more air conditioning in the longer, hotter evenings.
Finally, year-round DST, if implemented during Trump’s current term as President, would result in Trump’s current term in office being extended by one hour, as the 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution defines the end of a four-year presidential term as being “at noon on the 20th day of January” following a presidential election, and this is traditionally defined as noon on the 20th day of January in the District of Columbia (which is currently on Eastern Standard Time during the entire month of January each year and would be on Eastern Daylight Time during the entire month of January each year if year-round DST were implemented). Given how self-centered Trump is, it wouldn’t surprise me if that is Trump’s primary motivation for supporting year-round daylight savings time.
It is my opinion and assessment that year-round daylight savings time would simply have stronger negative drawbacks than any positive benefits compared to year-round standard time, and I encourage Congress to pass legislation enacting nationwide year-round standard time.