Reading "Daylight saving time in the United States" on Wikipedia, it is my understanding that Uniform Time Act of 1966, as per the weights-and-measures power, prohibits the states from extending DST (without making any exceptions for allowing a permanent DST), but the states are expressly allowed to not observe DST in the first place, like Hawaii and Arizona are already doing since at least 1968.

Why is the State of Nevada asking the United States Congress for permission to remain on the permanent Daylight Savings Time, within its Pacific Time, instead of simply adopting Mountain Time, and choosing to not observe DST, just like Arizona is doing since 1967/1968?

More importantly, as the clock would then always be the same between Nevada and Arizona, why would the Congress make such a poor exception causing so much needless confusion in the first place (e.g., people always switching the timezones between Arizona/Nevada, yet never switching the actual time), instead of advising/allowing Nevada to simply move from Pacific to Mountain Time (and exercise an existing right to not observe DST), joining Arizona time-wise?

Is Nevada not allowed to move from Pacific Time to Mountain Time without Congress' approval, either? (Does it require DOT approval, and if so, wouldn't that be easier to obtain?) Or is this just a matter of "politics", that a single atomic change is easier to explain than two simultaneous ones, or to have Congress take more blame?


I think all the answers are in the same Wikipedia article you linked:

Changing timezones

Changing Nevada from Pacific to Mountain Time would require DOT approval. Wikipedia's description of their legally-mandated standard is:

the convenience of commerce in that area. The convenience of commerce is defined broadly to consider such circumstances as the shipment of goods within the community; the origin of television and radio broadcasts; the areas where most residents work, attend school, worship, or receive health care; the location of airports, railway, and bus stations; and the major elements of the community's economy.

Presumably, Nevada doesn't feel like it can demonstrate that changing to Mountain time would provide enough "convenience of commerce" to justify the change.

As a wholly uninformed opinion, I would guess that Nevada does significantly more interstate trade with California than it does with Arizona or Utah, and picks up more from California's media markets than it does the other states. Both of those situations would argue against changing away from California time for "convenience of commerce".

Changing DST

On the other hand, moving on or off DST is a state-level decision. However, the Uniform Time Act only allows states two choices:

  1. Observe DST in some or all of the state, changing on the nationally-specified days
  2. Ignore DST altogether.

There's no option allowing for "permanent DST". So it would take an act of Congress to either amend the UTA to provide that third option, or create a specific exception for Nevada.

  • Indiana threatened to just invoke home rule and ignore the DOT. Maybe Nevada could just plain old do it. If the people back it heavily enough, cracking down would end badly for the DOT.
    – Joshua
    Oct 1 '20 at 17:05

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