Sen. Tommy Tuberville shared stories of Alabama residents wanting to end daylight saving time during a speech Monday, noting his support for a Senate bill to stop the annual tradition of jumping forward and falling back.
Tuberville noted that Daylight Saving Time was introduced as a temporary measure during World War I, originally known as “wartime” to conserve fuel and resources.
“Changes to our watches may have made sense at first, but that’s certainly not the case now,” he said in the Senate on Monday. “Turning back the clocks every year is a nuisance and not wise policy.”
Tuberville read a letter from a Talladega County voter who wrote, “Daylight saving time year-round means older people like me can be more active in the early evening hours.”
One Mobile resident, the senator said, urged him to “please try to do whatever is necessary to make Alabama Daylight Saving Time permanent.” Everyone I know and talk to wants that. Who doesn’t want more daylight in the evenings?”
A third ingredient — a psychiatrist — wrote to Tuberville that daylight saving time increases depression and decreases productivity in half of his psychiatric patients.
Tuberville said he agreed.
“It’s no wonder cases of SAD — or seasonal affective disorder — are much more common in the winter months than in the spring,” he said.
Leaping forward and falling behind costs the country $430 million a year in lost productivity, according to Tuberville.
He noted that Alabama and 17 other states have passed legislation or resolutions to “switch this antiquated practice” when the federal government abolishes daylight savings time.
“Let’s give Americans something to celebrate: longer days and more sunshine,” he said.
Tuberville is a co-sponsor of the Sunshine Protection Act, which would make Daylight Saving Time permanent.