This can't possibly be a priority. I'm fucking mystified. Pepole are dying, starving, killing, exposing CIA agents who may or may not have been covert operatives blah blah blah, bombing buildings, planes, tubes, and tube stations, raping, kidnapping, and so on, but this is going to solve everything. I think the pod people or the Scientologists or maybe the goddamn lizard men have finally gotten into our brains. My fucking head hurts.
Panel Backs Extension of Daylight-Saving Time
WASHINGTON (July 19) - A joint Senate-House committee working out the details of a broad U.S. energy bill voted on Tuesday to expand U.S. daylight-saving time by two months to help reduce energy consumption.
Negotiators from both chambers are racing against the clock to put a final energy package on President Bush's desk by a self-imposed deadline of Aug. 1.
Among the conflicts to be resolved is the cost of energy production tax breaks, which totaled $8 billion in the House bill and $16 billion in the Senate bill, and legal protection for oil refiners that manufactured a fuel additive suspected of being a carcinogen.
On Tuesday, the negotiators from the Senate and House agreed to move the start of daylight-saving time in the United States one month earlier to the first Sunday in March. The end of daylight time would be delayed one month to the last Sunday in November.
Daylight-saving time occurs each spring when clocks are turned forward by one hour. U.S. clocks go back one hour to standard time in the fall.
Supporters claim extending daylight-saving time would save about 100,000 barrels of oil a day because offices and stores would be open while it was still light outside and therefore use less energy.
Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman will try to amend the plan before lawmakers finish the bill by shortening the period that daylight-saving time would be extended. A Bingaman aide pointed out that farmers are opposed to the extra two months because they will have to start their workday in the dark.
Separately, Senate Democrats plan to offer an amendment to the final energy bill to cut U.S. oil consumption by 1 million barrels a day in a decade.
The Senate approved such a plan in its version of energy legislation, while the House rejected it in its energy bill.
House lawmakers with automakers in their districts are against the proposal, fearing it is a backdoor way to require U.S. minivans, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks to improve their fuel efficiency.
However, some lawmakers believe it makes sense to tighten the mileage requirements of new vehicles because gasoline demand accounts for about 40 percent of total U.S. oil use.
The Senate's plan would not mandate any specific action to reduce oil consumption, and leaves it up to the president to figure out how to save the oil.
One of the major issues that still has to be worked out is whether to give oil companies that make the water-polluting gasoline additive MTBE protection from certain lawsuits.
The House put the liability waiver in its energy bill, while the Senate strongly opposes the lawsuit protection. Republican Joe Barton of Texas, who chairs the House-Senate committee working on the energy bill, is trying to reach a compromise deal on the issue.
Barton has proposed creating a trust fund to help pay for the cleanup, estimated to be in the billions of dollars.
MTBE producers would pay a "significant amount" of the trust fund, said one industry lobbyist negotiating the deal, who declined to elaborate. One sticking point to a deal is some MTBE producers, presumably the smaller companies, may have to pay more into the fund than their expected liability, the lobbyist said.