Energy Bill Passes Congress

August 5, 2005 - 09:44

A comprehensive energy bill that includes a provision extending Daylight Savings Time was passed by Congress shortly before its August recess began. The Daylight Savings provision is endorsed by the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA). At a June press conference, ANLA member Kevin Warhurst, Merrifield Garden Center (Va.), encouraged Congress to pass this provision, which would add valuable retail sales hours during evenings at the critical beginning of the spring selling season. ANLA President Buzz Bertolero, Navlet’s Garden Centers (Ca.) added, “Extending the selling season is an easy win for Congress and our industry.”

When signed by the president, the legislation will move the beginning of Daylight Savings Time to the second Sunday of March and extend it to the first Sunday in November, adding more than a month. The spring extension, in particular, will especially benefit retailers in the South and West.

“The Senate passed the mammoth legislation with broad bipartisan support, 74-26, ending years of congressional stalemate over energy. It will funnel billions of dollars to energy companies, including tax breaks and loan guarantees for new nuclear power plants, clean coal technology and wind energy,” according to an article from the Associated Press (AP) .

However, “Some senators said the bill, despite its broad sweep, does nothing to reduce the high cost of energy, especially at the gasoline pumps, and will not reduce the country's heavy reliance on oil imports. Its supporters maintained that in the long term it will refocus the country's energy priorities and promote cleaner energy and more conservation,” according to the article.

The passing of this bill is the first overhaul in U.S. energy policy in about 13 years, stated the AP . Congress is also stating that these changes are not set to take place immediately but within a 5- to 10-year span.

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