February 21, 2007 - MARKEY PROBES TRANSP. DEPT ON WHAT IS BEING DONE TO INFORM PUBLIC OF NEW DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sent a letter to the Department of Transportation Secretary, Mary Peters, to ask what is being done to inform Americans of the changes to extend daylight savings time by four weeks beginning this year.  Reps. Markey and Fred Upton (R-MI) amended the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to begin Daylight Savings Time (DST) three weeks earlier (this year that is March 11, 2007) and ending it one week later (November 4, 2007).

“Adding a little more sunshine to each day for four weeks each year, will help conserve energy, increase productivity, and hopefully bring a smile to everyone’s faces,” Markey said.

From this year forward, daylight savings time will start the second Sunday of March and last through the first Sunday of November. The bill also called for a study on the impact of daylight saving on energy consumption.  Rep. Markey authored previous legislation in 1986 that added three weeks of daily saving time to the calendar.

Markey stated, “I want to make sure that the Transportation Department does everything it can to make the extended daylight savings time as routine as setting your clock or downloading a software update for your computer.”  

The Upton-Markey amendment is supported by studies which show that early daylight saving time and longer days decrease the number of fatal traffic accidents, reduce crime rates, and provide relief for individuals suffering from “night blindness.”

The Markey letter to Secretary Peters follows:

February 21, 2007
The Honorable Mary E. Peters
Secretary
Department of Transportation
Washington, D.C.

Dear Madam Secretary:

I am writing to ask what the Department has been doing to inform the American public of the fact that Daylight Saving Time (DST) will begin this year on March 11, 2007 and will end on November 4, 2007.  

As you know, as the result of enactment of an amendment that Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) I offered to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Uniform Time Act was adjusted to provide for an additional four weeks of Daylight Saving Time.  The new law allows us to “spring forward” three weeks earlier than previous law and has us “fall back” to Standard Time one week later.  

Under the Uniform Time Act, the Department of Transportation is responsible for administering DST.  It is therefore essential that the Department take a leadership role in informing and educating the public about the change, so that businesses and individuals can be sure to adjust their clocks properly.  For some, that will mean downloading computer software patches so that computer software change over on the right day.  For others, it will mean simply adjusting watches and clocks on March 11th, rather than doing so on the first Sunday in April.

Ensuring that the public is fully aware of and prepared for this transition is important in ensuring that takes place smoothly.   I note that the Department issued a press release on last October 23rd regarding the change in DST, but we are not aware of more recent educational efforts by the Department on this matter.  I therefore request that you report on how the Department has been ensuring that the American public is fully educated about the new start and end dates for DST.

Thank you for your assistance and cooperation in this matter.

Sincerely,

Edward J. Markey
Member of Congress                                                               

For more information on Rep. Markey’s energy issues, please visit http://markey.house.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2007

CONTACT: Israel Klein
202.225.2836