Monday, September 25, 2023
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Regulators Turn Off Tap on Trump Vision of Water-Wasting Showers

Officials say reinstatement of water-efficiency standards for showerheads will help the environment and lower utility bills.

WASHINGTON (CN) — Former President Donald Trump's doughty effort to increase water flow from showerheads is all washed up after the Department of Energy announced Friday it will reverse the short-lived rule that had little practical impact.

The issue dates back to 1992 when Congress passed a law that said showerheads could not pump out more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute. The law was amended 20 years later, under former President Barack Obama, since showerheads had grown increasingly complex, often featuring two or more nozzles capable of dousing well over 5 or even 10 gallons per minute.

In response to concerns over drought and water waste, the Obama administration stipulated that any showerhead, no matter how many nozzles, could only express the 2.5 gallon limit.

The changes did not draw any significant public complaint, according to Consumer Reports. In fact, a study on water efficiency standards and showerheads found that manufacturers were able to hit the 2.5-gallon mark without infringing on product quality, diversity or performance.

But late last August, then-President Donald Trump appeared to be fed up with having bad hair days.

“So, showerheads — you take a shower, the water doesn’t come out. You want to wash your hands, the water doesn’t come out. So, what do you do? You just stand there longer or you take a shower longer? Because my hair — I don’t know about you, but it has to be perfect. Perfect.,” Trump said during a press conference at the White House.

The Associated Press was first to report Friday that the Trump-era rule is poised for reversal. It has yet to hit the Federal Register but when it does, the public will have 60 days to offer comment. The rule was only finalized this December.

The Department of Energy noted Friday that the rule reversal will have the potential to save consumers about $38 per year.

The department is also expected to announce other new energy-efficiency standards this August.

According to a notice published this week, plans are now underway at the agency to tighten up air quality regulations for manufactured homes.

Subject to federal review because the homes are created in one place and then often transported across and throughout the country, the Energy Department says new energy regulations for the nearly 7 million manufactured homes now in the U.S. could prove big savings on energy and energy bills.

A rule for energy standards for manufactured homes was up for review in 2016 but it gained zero traction under former President Trump.

Categories / Environment, Government, Law

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