U.S. Changes Showerhead Restrictions — as Trump Has Complained Old Rule Ruined His ‘Perfect’ Hair
The Department of Energy updated its regulations on Tuesday, allowing for more water to be dispensed in showers.
The change follows President Donald Trump’s well documented complaints — serious or a little sarcastic — about low-water pressure rules ruining his “perfect” hair.
Trump, 74, had repeated his gripes about showerheads, faucets and dishwashers throughout this year, both on the campaign trail and speaking from the presidential podium at the White House.
"So, showerheads," Trump said in July. "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."
At least 40 U.S. states face a looming water crisis, according to a 2014 Government Accountability Office report, which noted water shortages “are expected to continue into the future.”
On Tuesday, the Department of Energy updated federal standards set back in 1992 to allow for more water to be used in a shower.
The previous rule restricted showerheads to pumping out 2.5 gallons per minute at the maximum, and a 2013 Obama-era ruling had upheld that definition, no matter the amount of showerheads in a shower.
However, the new Trump administration update to the regulation now says each showerhead can pump out 2.5 gallons of water, loosening federal conservation rules.
“One commenter stated that the proposal harms human health by wasting our most precious natural resource,” the Department of Energy’s own report reads, noting backlash to its updated regulation.
While some complaints noted that four out of five states face water shortages, other critics said the new rule will also “increase water and energy consumption and lead to higher utility bills for consumers.”
In contrast to the concern over unnecessary wastefulness, the department noted supportive comments such as one which “stated that the inability of updated showerheads to allow more water during use is frustrating.”
The department then concluded its new regulation “does nothing to alter the current energy conservation standard for showerheads and is therefore not a significant energy action.”
The Natural Resources Defense Council responded, calling the new regulation “needless” and said the new federal rules “will waste water and energy.”
“It’s ridiculous for the Department of Energy to call these ‘quality of life’ improvements when they’ll actually harm America’s quality of life by needlessly increasing consumer water and energy bills and climate-warming carbon pollution while exacerbating water shortages,” Noah Horowitz, the director of the Center for Energy Efficiency Standards at the NRDC, said in a statement.
The NRDC said the new rules “also come at a time when areas of the country are increasingly subject to extended droughts and cannot afford to waste water through such unnecessary regulatory loopholes.”
Andrew deLaski, the executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, called on President-elect Joe Biden's incoming administration to immediately reverse the rule come 2021.
“These last-minute Trump rules that allow for products that needlessly waste energy and water are ridiculous and out of step with the climate crisis and the long-term drought facing much of the country,” deLaski said in a statement. “The Biden administration can and should promptly reverse them.”
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