House and Senate negotiators on an energy bill agreed to begin daylight-saving time three weeks earlier, on the second Sunday in March, and extend it by one week to the first Sunday in November. The House bill would have added a month in the spring and another in the fall.
According to some senators, farmers complained that a two-month extension could adversely affect livestock, and airline officials said it would have complicated scheduling of international flights.
"We ought to take a hard look at this before we jump into it," said Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, who questioned how much oil savings the extension would produce.
Reps. Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Fred Upton, R-Mich., agreed to scale back their original proposal, and Senate negotiators accepted the new version, along with a call for a new study on how much daylight-saving time actually affects oil consumption.
"The beauty of daylight-saving time is that it just makes everyone feel sunnier," said Markey.
Upton noted that the extension means daylight-saving time will continue through Halloween, adding to safety. "Kids across the nation will soon rejoice," said Upton, because they'll have another hour of daylight trick-or-treating.
Lawmakers said they hoped to complete the energy legislation next week.