In one of its final acts, the Trump administration finalized two new rules this week that will push back water efficiency standards for shower heads and washing machines.
This is the latest move, in line with the president’s annual crusade, which he says follows inadequate water pressure on household appliances and bathroom fixtures.
The new shower head rule, announced by the Department of Energy on Tuesday, will allow all shower heads in the assembly to reach the two-and-a-half gallon / min maximum water flow offered by Congress, which has set these standards for nearly 30 years. ago. Previously, a shower head holder could only use two and a half gallons per minute, no matter how many shower heads it had, and the total usage was collected in aggregate.
In its second rule, the department also created new product classes for washers and dryers with shorter cycle times. Subsequently, in October, the agency announced a new rule allowing for a class of new dishwashers with shorter cycle times and different efficiency standards.
“The Trump government today reaffirmed its commitment to reducing regulatory burdens and protecting consumer choice,” said Energy Minister Dan Brouillette. “With these rule changes, Americans can choose the products that best meet their individual needs and the needs of consumers. Their families.”
Some environmental advocates, consumer groups and manufacturers have criticized the recent regulatory changes as unnecessary and potentially harmful to the environment.
“Changing the rules for President Trump’s pet is simply stupid,” said Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project. “Thousands of shower enclosures on the market today meet the standards that Congress introduced in 1992 and provide a great shower.”
Joanna Mauer, senior research leader at the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, wrote that the new laundry rule allows “certain washers and dryers to use an unlimited amount of energy and water” and “opens the door to very wasteful products”.
“In particular, no one has asked for this rule,” he added, saying that the administration of President-elect Joe Biden “should move to quickly reverse today’s rule and the dishwasher’s short-cycle rule.”
For much of the past year, Trump has set a goal to regulate water in toilets, showers, and other household appliances as part of a broader effort to deregulate.
Speaking to White House reporters last December, Trump said his administration “looks very closely at washbasins, showers and other bathroom items” in its direction, insisting that “people flush toilets 10, 15 times, as opposed to the once “and that” eventually more water is used “.
He later told Wisconsin rally participants, “Toilets and showers. You don’t get water.”
Trump spent more time on this topic at a White House event in July, which focused on regulatory regressions in the administration.
“So shower heads – you’re taking a shower, the water isn’t coming out,” Trump said. “You want to wash your hands, the water doesn’t come out. So what are you doing? You’re just standing there for a long time or taking a shower for a long time? Because my hair – I don’t know about you, but you have to be perfect. Perfect.”
“Dishwashers – you didn’t have water, so you – the people who do the dishes – you press and go again and do it again and again,” Trump added. “So you can give them water because you end up using less water. So we made it so that there is a lot more water in the dishwashers now. And in many places – water is not a problem in most parts of the country. They don’t know what to do with it. It’s called rain. No care. “
His comments reject a long-standing grievance in conservative circles about these regulations.
“I’ve never flushed toilets ten times,” Daniel Savickas, director of regulatory policy at FreedomWorks Liberal Advocacy Group, told NBC News earlier this year. “But I think the focus of the question is what you find. Because of water efficiency regulations, people have to operate their appliances more than once.”
Leading environmentalists, however, said the concerns were multi-storey.
“I don’t know what product they use, but I don’t have to run it two or three times,” Christine Todd Whitman, a former New Jersey governor, administrator of the Environment Agency under President George W. Bush, told NBC. News earlier this year. “My dishwashers work great, thank you. I’ll do it once. My dishes are clean and everyone is healthy. I don’t know what they’re talking about.”