A report out this month from the International Energy Agency (IEA) points out an aspect of the Biden administration’s green energy ambitions that the green energy proponents will have a hard time swallowing — it will require a massive increase in the mining of minerals such as lithium, graphite, nickel and rare-earth metals.
In an op-ed piece in today’s Elko Daily Free Press, Michael Stumo, CEO of the Coalition for a Prosperous America, summarizes key points from the 287-page IEA report. WSJ illustration
“According to the IEA, the production of lithium-ion batteries alone could drive up the global demand for lithium by more than 40 times through 2040,” Stumo writes. “Supplies of other key minerals — including graphite, cobalt, and nickel — would need to increase by at least 20 times as well.”
Environmentalists are already trying to block mining of lithium at the Rhyolite Ridge mine here in Nevada in order to protect the rare Tiehm’s buckwheat, which only grows on the public lands where the mining is to occur.
According to Stumo, the U.S. is now heavily reliant on China and other nations for these raw materials. “In fact, America’s mineral-import reliance has doubled in just the past two decades. And thanks to aggressive, mercantilist policies, China now controls 70 percent of the world’s lithium supplies, 80 percent of rare earth metals, and roughly 70 percent of the world’s graphite,” he writes.
While China utilizes extremely toxic practices to extract minerals, Stumo observes, the U.S. has some of the world’s most stringent environmental standards, meaning mine permitting can often take up to a decade.
If it takes a decade to get up to speed on mineral production, that will leave the U.S. in the thrall of China if the Biden green energy goal is to be met.
“To meet soaring demand and reduce imports from China, the United States must start mining more of these resources at home,” Stumo concludes. “The good news is that the U.S. possesses more than $6 trillion in mineral reserves. It’s time for federal policies to change in favor of U.S. mining and materials processing. Otherwise, President Biden’s clean energy agenda could fall short of its goals — and leave the U.S. dependent on China’s reckless mining industry.” IEA graphic comparing mineral requirement http://dlvr.it/RzjcR6
Writing on today’s opinion page of the Elko Daily Free Press, Cheyenne, Wyo., attorney Karen Budd-Falen warns of some of the consequences of the Biden administration’s so-called 30×30 Plan to conserve in its natural or unproductive state 30 percent of the nation’s land and water by 2030. The plan’s stated objective is to avert “a profound climate crisis.”
Budd-Falen notes that by 2030 the world’s population is expected to increase to 8.5 billion people. “To feed all those people, the world needs farmers and ranchers,” she writes. “According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the average American farm feeds 166 people, but with the increase in the world’s population, the world’s farmers will have to grow 70% more food than they did in 2019.”
The Biden plan would “use Department of Agriculture programs, funding and financing capacities, and other authorities … to encourage the voluntary adoption of climate-smart agricultural and forestry practices …”
Budd-Falen aptly compares this voluntary compliance to the 1970s “voluntary” 55 mph speed limit. States that did not “voluntarily” lower their speed limits to 55 were denied federal highway funds. Most volunteered.
The attorney notes that the “Department of Agriculture has just significantly increased its ‘payment rates and financial incentives’ to convince landowners to enroll additional acres into the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). While landowners have the right to do with their land what they want, I worry about paying agriculturalists not to produce.”
The administration has already canceled its federal oil and gas lease sales under the theory that wind and solar can replace oil, gas and coal, Budd-Falen notes, adding, “I have not found a lot of affordable commercial all-electric tractors that could be used on farming or ranching operations today.”
She concludes with a question no one in the Biden administration seems to be asking: “How are farmers and ranchers going to feed 8.5 billion people in 2030 if there is no American oil and gas for tractors, we are paying landowners not-to-produce or produce less, and multiple use on federal lands is curtailed or eliminated to reach the 30 X 30 Plan goals? And what I am really warning is that the history of the federal government’s ‘voluntary’ 55 mph speed limit NOT be repeated today.”
Tomorrow, May 1, Nye County will officially assume control over nearly every aspect of the mitigation and management of the COVID-19 pandemic within its boundaries, with one very notable exception. Despite Nye County commissioners’ unanimous vote to rescind the requirement that its citizens wear masks when interacting with others in a public setting, the statewide mask mandate still stands and Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has made it clear that any endeavor to sidestep that mandate is null and void.
“Nye County received a letter April 27 from the governor’s office thanking Nye County stakeholders for the work invested in developing Nye County’s Local COVID-19 Mitigation and Enforcement Plan. The letter indicates that the governor delegates authority to Nye County to manage COVID-19 mitigation measures in accordance with the plan,” a news release sent out by Nye County Public Information Officer Arnold Knightly this week states. “Emergency Management Director Scott Lewis presented the plan to the state COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force on April 22. The plan highlights include removing capacity limitations for businesses and gatherings due to COVID mitigation starting May 1. The county will also lift social distancing restrictions. However, as stated in the letter, the requirement for face masks in public spaces, including businesses, remains in place past May 1 in Nye County and statewide.”
Before being sent to the state, the Nye County COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Plan went before commissioners for their stamp of approval during the board’s April 20 meeting.
At that meeting, Nye County Manager Tim Sutton gave an overview of the plan, explaining, “The plan provides for the following: no mandatory capacity restrictions; no mandatory social distancing; no mandatory sanitizing; no requirement for large event plans to be approved by the state moving forward. And that is in response to the board’s request for a full reopening.
“The plan provides that will continue to monitor the items found on page 4, which would be; daily new cases; daily tests; test positivity rate; daily vaccination rates; daily COVID deaths; daily hospitalization rate; and daily ICU and ventilator use,” Sutton continued. “The plan also provides that we will continue to provide vaccination PODs and also information about testing and also we will provide PPE in the priorities listed in the plan.”
Sutton requested just two changes to the document prior to its approval, one for a minor typo which changed the incorrect term “contract” to “contact” and another to remove two entire sentences from a section of page 6 addressing public sector work plans.
“Social distancing and sanitization protocols were deferred to the county per the governor’s last press conference, and I think everybody knows that the mask mandate is under the state anyway so there is really no reason to put in it there,” Sutton stated. “Where it says ‘Mask mandates, social distancing and sanitization protocols remain in place’, I’d like to propose that that sentence be stricken.”
Nye County Commission Chair Debra Strickland then remarked that this would mean, first and foremost, that the tape barring members of the public from using certain seats in the commissioners’ chambers would be removed and the sanitization of the public commenter’s stand would not longer be carried out. “All the people can sit with whomever they want to. And that right there is a big change,” she noted.
Strickland then attempted to give direction to Sutton to end the teleconferencing that has been available for the public since the onset of the pandemic limited the number of persons allowed inside of the chambers during meetings. Nye County Commissioner Leo Blundo, for one, threw his support behind the idea of doing away with the teleconferencing system but at least one board member was not amenable to that and even county staff expressed their hesitation in removing that option just yet.
“I don’t have a problem with people calling in,” Commissioner Frank Carbone stated. “There are people who are at home right now who are calling in here, they don’t need to come here if they don’t want to. It’s just a burden on their part.”
Strickland interjected that the teleconferencing was a burden of the part of staff, asking, “So you foresee that we will need to still do teleconference? Because this is a pain in the you know what.”
Nye County Administrative Manager Samantha Tackett jumped in to request that the teleconferencing remain in place for now, adding that the county has certain contracts and other items that she would like taken into consideration before the teleconferencing comes to an end. In response, Strickland asserted that a formal agenda item would be brought forward so the commissioners could vote on the matter.
Nye County Commissioner Donna Cox then opened the discussion on the sticky topic of the mask mandate, asking how the county was going to be handling that. Carbone asserted that the commission had already voted to get rid of the mask mandate, with Blundo chiming in, “I remember that too.”
Regardless of the action taken by the commission earlier this month, Strickland informed her fellow commissioners that the mask mandate is a statewide mandate and Sutton added, “The state’s position is that the counties do not have the authority to pass any resolution on the mask mandate, so they won’t recognize anything. I have also been advised by counsel that the action taken by the board at the last meeting, as it pertains to the mask mandate, was void and of no effect.”
“I vehemently disagree with that opinion,” Blundo declared. “And I believe that we voted in the affirmative and we have control over Nye County… and we took a stand, knowing, against the governor…”
Blundo then specifically asked if the mitigation plan before the board means that the county is returning to normal, to which Sutton answered that he and Blundo might have different ideas of the concept of “normal”. Blundo clarified that he was asking about masks and Sutton replied, “That’s kind of where the rub is.”
Strickland noted that there was nothing in the mitigation plan that stated that the county will or will not have a mask mandate, and Blundo added, “So let them (the state) interpret it for what they want to.”
“So does this mean that I can come back to the meetings without a mask on?” Cox, who has not attended a commission meeting in person for many months due to the mask requirement, asked. During that very meeting, Blundo, Carbone and commissioner Bruce Jabbour had all already removed their masks so it stands to reason that Cox would be able to attend without a mask in the future as well.
Cox then stated that she was leery of the idea of not addressing the removal of the mask mandate within the county’s mitigation document but once again Sutton remarked that any and all provisions adopted by counties that go against the statewide mandates, such as the mask mandate, are null and void. “Whether we put it in or take it out, the state is not going to recognize it,” Sutton emphasized.
Blundo made the motion to approve the county’s COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Plan, which carried 5-0.
The plan can be viewed online by visiting www.NyeCounty.net and clicking on the “Meeting Center” link. The document is included with item #42 on the April 20 agenda.
President Biden addresses Congress (Getty Images via ABC)
Joe Biden graduated law school 76th out of 85 students in 1968. Maybe he hasn’t bothered to keep up with the status of jurisprudence since.
During his remarks to a joint session of Congress Wednesday evening, he declared, “And no amendment to the Constitution is absolute. You can’t yell ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater.”
Maybe those words with improvised on the fly, because they do not appear in his prepared text.
Yes, in 1919 in the case of Schenck v. U.S. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes declared, “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.”
President Biden said nearly the same thing in a Rose Garden speech in April 2021.
And just what was tantamount to “falsely shouting fire” and constituted what was labeled the “clear and present danger” test?
Charles Schenck was convicted under the 1917 Espionage Act for distributing pamphlets urging resistance against the World War I Selective Service Act — the draft. His pamphlet argued that conscription was tantamount to indentured servitude, which was barred by the Thirteenth Amendment following the Civil War. He was making a legal argument, Holmes compared that to causing a panic.
Even Holmes himself backed off this stance in a later case:
“Every idea is an incitement. It offers itself for belief and if believed it is acted on unless some other belief outweighs it or some failure of energy stifles the movement at its birth. The only difference between the expression of an opinion and an incitement in the narrower sense is the speaker’s enthusiasm for the result. Eloquence may set fire to reason. But whatever may be thought of the redundant discourse before us it had no chance of starting a present conflagration. If in the long run the beliefs expressed in proletarian dictatorship are destined to be accepted by the dominant forces of the community, the only meaning of free speech is that they should be given their chance and have their way.”
This was pointed out in the case of Brandenburg v. Ohio, which essentially overturned Schenck and established a much stricter free speech standard. The court held, “Freedoms of speech and press do not permit a State to forbid advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”
Imminent lawless action.
Of course, that case was concluded in 1969, a year after Biden finished low in his graduating law school class. Perhaps he’s not bothered to keep up since. http://dlvr.it/Rymd6G
A new gender discrimination lawsuit claims that Nye County District Attorney Chris Arabia and Commissioner Leo Blundo “began a campaign of harassment and intimidation” against a former prosecutor.
Before Ronni Boskovich was fired in 2019, Arabia and Blundo targeted her “in part, because of her father’s political aspirations and her father and step-father’s status as homosexual males,” according to the federal lawsuit.
Boskovich also claims that she was fired after she reported sexual harassment against Blundo, who is a close friend of Arabia’s. An ethics complaint was filed against both officials before she was terminated, the court document states.
Also listed as defendants are Nye County and the district attorney’s office. They are accused of violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and allowing “Defendant Arabia and Defendant Blundo to continue to abuse their office and positions.”
Both a Nye County spokesman and Arabia declined to comment on the allegations, citing pending litigation. Blundo said he would respond to the claims in an email but never did.
In the lawsuit, filed Thursday, Boskovich claims that Blundo and Arabia made numerous degrading comments about the sexuality her father and stepfather. Her dad, Ron Boskovich, is gay and ran unsuccessfully for county commissioner against Blundo in 2018.
After taking office, Blundo often would refer to Boskovich and her parents as the “Trifecta of Evil,” according to the complaint, which also accuses Blundo of sexual harassment.
On Jan. 24, 2019, he hugged Boskovich inappropriately, the document states.
“As he was hugging Boskovich, he whispered to her that they were not on the clock, so this was ok,” Boskovich’s attorney, Michael Balaban, wrote.
In March 2019, Boskovich reported Blundo’s behavior to the county’s human resources director “however, nothing was done to address and/or correct Defendant Blundo’s behavior,” the lawsuit states.
Boskovich claims her boss, Arabia, then had her interrogated and fired her based on false allegations of misconduct, then directed his employees not to extend professional courtesies to her cases when she later became a public defender.
He also filed a State Bar of Nevada complaint against her, but it was dismissed after nine months, according to the document.
The Pahrump Valley Times reported in July 2019 that Arabia outlined in a letter to Boskovich several “issues of concern/misconduct” that Nye County determined had occurred.
This letter “noted Boskovich disclosed the existence and substance of sensitive, legally significant and confidential information related to marijuana regulations, procedures, brothels and conflicts of interest, which included the disclosure to three people potentially involved in the matter, as well as disclosure to at least two other people.”
Just finished David Baldacci’s latest mystery novel, “A Gambling Man,” another in the author’s long string of intriguing, deftly woven tales of odd characters facing long odds while making moral decisions.
Released this past week, “A Gambling Man” is the sequel to Baldacci’s “One Good Deed,” about recent World War II vet Aloysius Archer who was trying to put his life back together after being imprisoned for the “crime” of being involved with a young lady who could not refuse the entreaties of her law enforcement father. It is another world, one in which everyone is chain-smoking unfiltered Lucky Strikes and Camels while taking frequent swigs of hard liquor from ubiquitous flasks that seemed to populate every pocket and purse, often joined by small-caliber pistols.
To accomplish this life mending, Archer — who always avoided the use of his rather anachronistic mouthful of a given name and answered to his surname, as is customary in the military — took a bus west to meet up with the “very private investigator” Willie Dash about a possible job as a PI with Dash in his California coastal town. During an overnighter in the biggest little city of Reno, Archer befriended a gambling addict too deep into debt to the wrong crowd. After some fisticuffs, a car chase punctuated by small arms fire and the presumptive demise of the gambler, Archer wound up the custodian of a red, 12-cylinder, 1939 French convertible and in the company of a comely singer-dancer with the convenient post-war stage name Liberty Callahan, who had Hollywood ambitions.
Together they made it out of Reno alive and arrived in Dash’s corrupt town in time to become ensconced in an attempted blackmail investigation that evolved into bodies tumbling like dominoes.
Baldacci keeps the pace quick and the plot twisting and tightening ever closer to the penultimately evil culprit. Along the way he drops nuggets of tortured similes and metaphors like: “They heard the sobs as they approached the garage. They cut through the still morning air like a machete through bamboo.”
Or this gem: “Dash moved slowly across the room to greet the men. Where he had been frenetic seconds before, Archer could see the man was now all cool, calm, and as collected as a preacher about to dispense an easy dose of religion and then follow that up with an ask for money.”
There is an adequate helping of casual sex along the way, but not so detailed as to border on the pornographic.
“A Gambling Man” is another satisfying and mind tingling tale from the 60-year-old author of more than 40 novels. The prolific writer is already scheduled to release another in his Atlee Pine series in November. Can’t wait. http://dlvr.it/RyXrQC
CARSON CITY, Nev.—The man-made lakes that store water supplying millions of people in the U.S. West and Mexico are projected to shrink to historic lows in the coming months, dropping to levels that could trigger the federal government’s first-ever official shortage declaration and prompt cuts in Arizona and Nevada.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released 24-month projections last week forecasting that less Colorado River water will cascade down from the Rocky Mountains through Lake Powell and Lake Mead and into the arid deserts of the U.S. Southwest and the Gulf of California. Water levels in the two lakes are expected to plummet low enough for the agency to declare an official shortage for the first time, threatening the supply of Colorado River water that growing cities and farms rely on.
The agency’s models project Lake Mead will fall below 1,075 feet for the first time in June 2021. That’s the level that prompts a shortage declaration under agreements negotiated by seven states that rely on Colorado River water: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
The April projections, however, will not have binding impact. Federal officials regularly issue long-term projections but use those released each August to make decisions about how to allocate river water. If projections don’t improve by then, the Bureau of Reclamation will declare a Level 1 shortage condition. The cuts would be implemented in January.
Arizona, Nevada and Mexico have voluntarily given up water under a drought contingency plan for the river signed in 2019. A shortage declaration would subject the two U.S. states to their first mandatory reductions. Both rely on the Colorado River more than any other water source, and Arizona stands to lose roughly one-third of its supply.
Water agency officials say they’re confident their preparation measures, including conservation and seeking out alternative sources, would allow them to withstand cuts if the drought lingers as expected.
“The study, while significant, is not a surprise. It reflects the impacts of the dry and warm conditions across the Colorado River Basin this year, as well as the effects of a prolonged drought that has impacted the Colorado River water supply,” officials from the Arizona Department of Water Resources and Central Arizona Project said in a joint statement.
In Nevada, the agency that supplies water to most of the state has constructed “straws” to draw water from further down in Lake Mead as its levels fall. It also has created a credit system where it can bank recycled water back into the reservoir without having it count toward its allocation.
Colby Pellegrino, director of water resources for the Southern Nevada Water Authority, reassured customers that those preparation measures would insulate them from the effects of cuts. But she warned that more action was needed.
“It is incumbent upon all users of the Colorado River to find ways to conserve,” Pellegrino said in a statement.
The Bureau of Reclamation also projected that Lake Mead will drop to the point they worried in the past could threaten electricity generation at Hoover Dam. The hydropower serves millions of customers in Arizona, California and Nevada.
To prepare for a future with less water, the bureau has spent 10 years replacing parts of five of the dam’s 17 turbines that rotate to generate power. Len Schilling, a dam manager with the bureau, said the addition of wide-head turbines allow the dam to operate more efficiently at lower water levels. He said the turbines will be able to generate power almost to a point called “deadpool,” when there won’t be enough water for the dam to function.
But Schilling noted that less water moving through Hoover Dam means less hydropower to go around.
“As the elevation declines at the lake, then our ability to produce power declines as well because we have less water pushing on the turbines,” he said.
The hydropower costs substantially less than the energy sold on the wholesale electricity market because the government charges customers only for the cost of producing it and maintaining the dam.
Lincoln County Power District General Manager Dave Luttrell said infrastructure updates, less hydropower from Hoover Dam and supplemental power from other sources like natural gas raised costs and alarmed customers in his rural Nevada district.
“Rural economies in Arizona and Nevada live and die by the hydropower that is produced at Hoover Dam. It might not be a big deal to NV Energy,” he said of Nevada’s largest utility. “It might be a decimal point to Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. But for Lincoln County, it adds huge impact.”
On the campaign trail candidate Joe Biden promised to create a “fair and humane” immigration system. Instead, the Biden administration has created a system in which the criteria for being allowed into this country at the Southern border a deep, dark secret. Would-be immigrants show up at the border with no idea whether they will be allowed in or sent back to Mexico, nor why.
Is it humane for families to trek for months across dangerous, cartel-controlled expanses with no rationale expectation of being admitted?
According to an Associated Press account today, the Biden administration releases most children traveling alone to relatives in this country and gives them notices to appear in immigration court. “Nearly 9,500 such children arrived in February, up 60 percent from a month earlier,” the story relates.
But six out of 10 families picked up by the Border Patrol in February were sent back across the border. The number of family arrivals in February topped 19,200, more than double the previous month.
The anecdotal lede on the AP story recounts how one family from Honduras with children ages 3 and 5 were given bus tickets to Oklahoma to join an in-law, while a mother from El Salvador and her 8-year-old daughter was “being banished to a violent Mexican border city with no food or money and sleeping on the concrete of a plaza.”
What is our immigration law? Who knows? It is a secret. Customs and border officers deport immigrants from Hidalgo, Texas. (AP pix) http://dlvr.it/RwHJ6F
It is time to cast off our chains and free ourselves from slavery to the clock.
On Sunday morning we are required to spring our clocks forward an hour, if we wish to remain in sync with the rest of the nation, get to church and work on time and tune in at the proper time to our favorite radio and TV programs.
Mankind once worked from can till cain’t, as my ol’ grandpappy used to say — from the time you can see till the time you can’t — and farmers and ranchers such as grandpappy still do. But to make the trains run on time, we strapped ourselves to the clock, even though the clock is uniform and doesn’t change when the amount of daylight does.
Ol’ Ben Franklin, while serving as ambassador in France, accidentally figured out that this out-of-sync arrangement was somewhat uneconomical when he mistakenly arose one day at 6 a.m. instead of noon and discovered the sun was shining through his window. “I love economy exceedingly,” he jested, and proceeded to explain in a letter to a local newspaper how many candles and how much lamp oil could be saved by adjusting the city’s lifestyle to the proclivities of the sun.
“This event has given rise in my mind to several serious and important reflections. I considered that, if I had not been awakened so early in the morning, I should have slept six hours longer by the light of the sun, and in exchange have lived six hours the following night by candle-light; and, the latter being a much more expensive light than the former, my love of economy induced me to muster up what little arithmetic I was master of, and to make some calculations, which I shall give you, after observing that utility is, in my opinion the test of value in matters of invention, and that a discovery which can be applied to no use, or is not good for something, is good for nothing.”
Then he did the math, and exclaimed, “An immense sum! that the city of Paris might save every year, by the economy of using sunshine instead of candles.”
Thus, in 1918 in a effort to be more economical during the war, Congress borrowed from Europe the concept of daylight saving time — springing clocks forward during the summer and back in the winter. From shortly after Pearl Harbor until the end of the Second World War, the nation was on year-round daylight saving time, or war time, as it was called. National Geographic photo
Moving the clock forward in summer might well save a few kilowatt-hours in lighting, but in states like Nevada that savings is more than made up for with increased air conditioning costs and the fuel used to drive about more after getting off work.
One study found that springing forward causes enough sleep deprivation to cost the U.S. economy $435 million a year. The New England Journal of Medicine found an association between that one hour loss of sleep from daylight saving time and an increase in car accidents, as well as a 5 percent increase in heart attacks in the first three weekdays after the transition to daylight saving time, while an Australian study found an increase in the suicide rate.
In a probably futile gesture to end the charade, the state Legislature a couple of years ago passed Assembly Joint Resolution No. 4 that proposes to make Pacific Daylight Saving Time year-round.
“WHEREAS, Congress also found and declared that ‘the use of year-round daylight saving time could have other beneficial effects on the public interest, including the reduction of crime, improved traffic safety, more daylight outdoor playtime for children and youth of our Nation, [and] greater utilization of parks and recreation areas …’” AJR4 reads in part, also noting possible “expanded economic opportunity through extension of daylight hours to peak shopping hour. ”
It passed both the Assembly and Senate and was enrolled by the Secretary of State.
Changing to year-round daylight saving time might not save electricity, but it could increase productivity and prevent car wrecks.
Alas, as with everything else, the power to fix this lies in Washington, though I can’t seem to find this enumerated power in my copy of the Constitution. Perhaps it is outdated.
In another glaring example of the efficiency and sincerity of our elected officials, AJR4 passed, the morning newspaper reported that no one in Washington had ever heard of AJR4.
AJR4 concludes by beseeching Congress to amend The Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act of 1973 and allow each state to opt out, the same as Arizona and Hawaii have opted out, but rather than sticking with standard time, AJR4 would adopt Pacific Daylight Saving Time all year. Why should it get dark at 4:30 p.m. in the winter anyway?
Washington is in another century, much less a different time zone.
But the clowns in Carson City are dutifully at it again this year, working on legislation that might — if enough hoops are leapt through and the left coast Californians also indulge — keep Nevada’s clocks from hiccupping twice a year by staying on either standard or daylight saving time.
According to the Pahrump Valley Times, Senate Bill 153, if approved, has two prerequisites. First, moving Nevada to daylight time will only take effect with federal authorization. Also neighboring California must make the change, too. California voters OK’d the change in 2018 but the Legislature hasn’t acted.
The alternative of moving Nevada to year-round standard time also would happen only if California does the same.
Don’t hold your breath or waste much time contemplating the possibilities.
The national debate over the twice-a-year changing of clocks from standard to daylight saving time and back is so persistent and predictable that you could, er, set your clock by it.
The subject is back before the Nevada Legislature again this year, with a substantial chance that lawmakers will see daylight to approve a change.
If only that would turn out the lights on the matter.
Senate Bill 153 would put Nevada on a path to observe either daylight saving time or standard time year-round; one sponsor of the bill called the current semiannual change “archaic in today’s modern age.” A similar effort passed easily as a resolution in 2015. The nation switches to daylight saving time at 2 a.m. Sunday, moving clocks ahead one hour.
The Nevada bill awaits a hearing in committee and comes with a hitch: Federal law, which allows states to skip daylight saving time entirely and observe standard time all year, as Arizona and Hawaii do, does not similarly permit states to make daylight saving time permanent.
So the Nevada bill, if approved, has two caveats: Moving Nevada to daylight time will only take effect with federal authorization and if neighboring California also enacts the change. Golden State voters authorized the move in 2018 but the Legislature hasn’t acted yet.
Hence, Nevada’s bill attempts to separate night from day with the option to go either direction. By tying Nevada’s change to action by California, it also sidesteps a concern of those who oppose the change for fear that a fractured time zone map would complicate life for those who live in the Far West, and who make up a big part of Nevada’s drive-in casino customer base.
Simplify, and conquer
The tactic is exactly how the Utah Legislature moved a similar bill through in 2020. Supporters there conditioned its implementation on federal action and on approval by at least four other Western states. That has already occurred, with Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming among 16 states to date where laws, resolutions, or voter initiatives have passed since 2018. Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee round out the list.
Utah proponents also sought to simplify the debate, which gets complicated because there are actually three choices: switch to full-time daylight saving time, to full-time standard time, or leave everything as is. In gauging support, they cast the debate as of question of more or less functional daylight time.
Action in states and Congress
The National Conference of State Legislatures, which has a standalone policy page tracking state action on the subject, counted 85 pieces of legislation on the subject in 32 states last year. And this year, a Senate bill with bipartisan backing is again before Congress: The “Sunshine Protection Act,” with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, as a prime sponsor, would make daylight saving time permanent year-round except for states on permanent standard time.
“Americans’ lifestyles are very different than they were when Daylight Saving Time began more than a century ago,” another supporter, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said in a release. “Making Daylight Saving Time permanent will end the biannual disruptions to daily life and give families more daylight hours to enjoy after work and school.”
The first appearance of daylight saving time in the U.S. dates to 1916. The move was never about farmers or agriculture — cows, after all, don’t wear watches, and farmers opposed the time change because it upset their schedules. Rather, business interests thought an extra hour of daylight would mean more customers.
Proponents also made the argument that daylight saving time saved energy; it was observed year-round in the U.S. during World War II and again during the 1974 oil crisis, though it was reversed amid concerns that included students having to go to school in the dark. In 2005, Congress extended annual daylight saving time observance from six months to eight, March to November.
Energy savings remains official federal policy for the clock switching. The U.S. Department of Transportation, on a webpage last updated in 2014, says more daylight means lower electricity consumption, in addition to fewer accidents and less crime.
But increasing concerns and studies in the U.S. and elsewhere cite potential health effects and contrary findings — some find more accidents and workplace injuries occurring, not fewer, because of people not adjusting to the time change. Studies also question energy savings.
“As a seasoned family practice doctor I believe Daylight Saving Time is archaic in today’s modern age and desynchronizes our circadian rhythm, resulting in adverse health effects such as an increase in cardiovascular diseases, injuries, mental and behavioral disorders, and issues with the immune system including rising cortisol levels,” said Assemblywoman Robin Titus, R-Wellington, the GOP Assembly caucus leader. She cited “numerous studies demonstrating this in the U.S., Sweden, Denmark, and Australia.”
Titus is a sponsor of the bill to pick one or the other, along with Republican Sens. Pete Goicoechea of Elko and Joe Hardy of Boulder City.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine comes down on the side of full-time standard time, saying daylight saving time “is less aligned with human circadian biology.” Proponents of year-round daylight saving time tend to be advocates for outdoor recreation and businesses that benefit from more activity, such as service stations.
Nevada’s 2015 effort, which called simply for a one-way move to daylight saving time but carried less weight as a resolution, passed easily in both the Assembly and Senate. In 2021, a more flexible proposal, this time in bill form, could take the state in either direction.
At the end of the day, that could make it just as likely to pass.