Year-round daylight saving time begins, 1974
Will time change help curb thirst for fuel? By HAROLD M. SCIIMECK JR. ., New York Times News Service WASHINGTON The United States has begun a nearly nationwide experiment to see whether pushing back nightfall by an hour will help depress America's Winter thirst for fuel. Government officials hope the return to Daylight Saving Time, as of 2 a.m. today, will reduce the nation's energy consumption by a small but significant amount. Some experts also hope for a slight decline in automobile fatalities and violent crime by the shifting of one hour of daylight from morning to evening. But no one can say for certain what the effects will be. The stratagem worked in World War II and, in Britain, in the late 1960s. Neither case offers an exact parallel to the situation of the United States in 1974. The Federal Energy Office estimates that the energy individual Americans expended this weekend in pushing clock hands ahead one hour will be offset by a national saving of 100,000 to 150,000 barrels of oil a day. In the first quarter of the year, a spokesman for the office said, the anticipated oil use, without daylight saving, would be about 18 12 million barrels a day. The saving is expected to come mostly from electricity used for lighting. The assumption is that Americans use more light for their early evening activities than they do in the predawn period. There may be some saving in fuel for heating, too, but experts appear to be less certain of that. Some exemptions granted The law providing for the experiment in year-round Daylight Saving Time continues through April 1975. In the interval, studies are to be done to determine whether the change does save energy. Some parts of the country are exempted at the start. Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and most of Indiana are automatically exempted. An announcement Friday from the Transportation Department said that Arizona would also receive an exemption through April 1975, while the northeast corner of Oregon and most of Idaho, except for its northern panhandle, would receive temporary exemptions. The purpose of the temporary exemptions is to give the state legislatures a chance to decide whether they want to be excluded for the entire year and a ennrter. Gov. Wendell Ford of Kentucky v authorized to redraw the time zone lines within Kentucky to put on Central time everything except 12 counties near Cincinnati, Ohio, and Huntington, W. Va. The 12 will be on Eastern time. The return to daylight time as an energy-saving move was requested by President Nixon in November. Bills to write the change into law were pushed through Congress largely on the initiative of Sens. Warren G. Magnuson of Washington and Adlai E. Stevenson III of Illinois, both Democrats, and Reps. Craig Hosmer, Republican, and John E. Moss, Democrat, both of California. The congressional push for daylight saving, however, started before the President's message. In opening hearings before the Senate Commerce Committee in November, Magnuson said the nation's continuation on standard time might be a classic example of unnecessary energy consumption, considering that the alternative of daylight saving existed. In testimony before the committee, John H. Gibbons, director of the Interior Department's Office of Energy Conservation, said the nation had no workable options that would save a great deal of energy in the short term. Objections from farmers He cited the time-change idea as one of the most promising ways of saving a modest amount of energy immediately. Gibbons said the move to Daylight Saving Time could save fuel for generating electricity Americans used daily. This, he said, could be expected because of a spreading out and consequent lowering of the daily peak load. He said electrical generation was more efficient at lower load levels and that the morning peak load was generally lower than that of the evening. Hopes for a reduction in crime and in traffic fatalities have been repeatedly expressed. Even proponents of Daylight Saving Time concede that it would be an added inconvenience and perhaps sometimes an added hazard to schoolchildren in the predawn darkness unless schools change their hours. Some are believed to be planning to do this. The main objection to 12-month Daylight Saving Time, however, comes from farmers who must do their work according to the schedule of light and darkness, not by the clock. One farmer, who has been widely quoted and paraphrased, remarked, "You can legislate Daylight Saving Time until you are blue in the face, but the dew is still going to dry off the fields on standard time."