Daylight saving time (DST) is advancing the clocks by an hour in the summer months to extend the evening daylight hours. While most states in the United States follow this practice, one state doesn’t: Arizona. The Grand Canyon State stays on Mountain Standard Time (MST) all year round. So, why does Arizona not observe daylight saving time?
As one of the first states in the nation to implement DST exemptions in the 20th century, Arizona’s practice dates back to the early 20th century. Arizona tried DST briefly in the 1960s but abandoned it due to its hot climate. The extra hour of daylight in the evening meant that people were more likely to use air conditioning, which would consume more energy and drive up utility bills. The state residents didn’t find it worthwhile and chose to stick with MST instead.
Another factor that influenced Arizona’s decision to forgo DST is its geographical location. The state is closer to the equator than most states in the country, meaning it doesn’t experience as much seasonal variation in daylight as other states. Therefore, the benefits of DST, such as more daylight in the evening, are minimal, and the disruption to the state’s internal clocks is not worth it.
Arizona’s exemption from DST has also led to some unique situations. The state is split between two time zones: MST and Pacific Standard Time (PST). The Navajo Nation, which occupies parts of northeastern Arizona, does observe DST, leading to a situation where the time difference between the Navajo Nation and the rest of the state can vary from one to two hours, depending on the time of the year.
In recent years, there have been calls to change Arizona’s stance on DST. Proponents argue that it would align the state with the rest of the country and make it easier to do business across state lines. However, there is no indication that Arizona will change its policy anytime soon. The state’s residents have grown accustomed to the consistency of staying on MST all year round, and the perceived disadvantages outweigh the potential benefits of switching to DST.
In conclusion, Arizona’s exemption from DST is rooted in its unique circumstances, climate, geographical location, and history. While it may seem unusual to outsiders, the state’s residents have found that sticking with MST all year round works best for them. Only time will tell if Arizona will ever change its policy on DST, but for now, the Grand Canyon State remains an outlier in the world of daylight saving time.