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Lead Buzz 09/05

Extending daylight-saving time, extending employee hours and more

Need more light in your life? You might just get it, courtesy of a congressional amendment that would extend daylight-saving time by two months.

The Upton-Markey amendment--named for co-sponsors Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA)--would move daylight-saving time back to the first Sunday in March and ahead to the last Sunday in November.

Proponents of the time change say small companies would benefit. "More Americans would be out in the evening, exercising, shopping," says Markey. "There are huge economic benefits to small-business owners."

Another benefit could be saving 10,000 barrels of oil a day, since companies wouldn't use as much electricity. "The more daylight we have, the less electricity we use. It's that simple," Upton said in an April statement.

Critics of the move point to studies that found minimal energy savings when daylight-saving time was lengthened briefly in the 1970s. Additionally, states will have the right to opt out if the amendment should become law, and a few industries might find dark winter days actually increase business. But backers say they've seen the light. "Daylight," says Markey, "just brings a smile to everybody's face."

Chris Penttila is a Washington, DC-based freelance journalist who covers workplace issues on her blog,

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This article was originally published in the September 2005 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Lead Buzz 09/05.

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