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Biden administrator targets Trump’s legacy of letting the water flow and other energy efficiency rules

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Former President Donald Trump’s effort to relax regulations dictating the water flow levels of many home appliances and accessories is under threat, with the Biden administration announcing it will launch a federal review of several rules and regulations in the Trump era governing the subject, in addition to other energy and efficiency decrees.

The energy department notified the management and budget office on Friday of this step, which begins a process that could result in the cancellation or revision of these regulations. The changes garnered widespread attention last year after Trump launched several lengthy rants about his displeasure with the low water pressure provided by a number of basic products like showers and dishwashers. .

The announcement follows an executive order signed earlier by President Joe Biden that ordered executive departments and federal agencies to review all Trump administration regulations that are inconsistent with Biden’s efforts to fight change climate. The ordinance required agencies to inform the director of OMB within 30 days of his inauguration of a preliminary list of actions that will be subject to review.

“By examining these rules and regulations, the Department of Energy will determine whether policy changes are needed to lower Americans’ energy bills, create manufacturing jobs in the United States, and reduce polluting carbon emissions,” Kathleen Hogan, acting deputy secretary for science and energy, said in a statement.

If the Department of Energy ultimately decides to propose changes after this formal review process, these will be referred back to OMB for review.

Some regulations under review include those on shower heads, dishwashers, and washing machines and dryers approved late last year, in addition to others regarding light bulbs, furnaces , water heaters and other appliances and building standards drafted by the Trump administration.

The showerhead rule allows each showerhead in a fixture to achieve the maximum water flow rate of two and a half gallons per minute mandated by Congress, which set these standards almost 30 years ago. Previously, a shower head fixture could only use two and a half gallons per minute regardless of the number of shower heads on it, with the total usage being cumulative.

For washing machines and dishwashers, the Trump administration has created new product classes with shorter wash times and, for dishwashers, different efficiency standards.

Conservatives, especially those with a libertarian mind, have long complained about past restrictions on water flow while challenging their environmental benefit. Environmentalists say they help save water and energy and lower consumer bills without compromising the quality of the fixture or device.

As these changes were announced, conservationists criticized the new rules as both unnecessary and potentially harmful to the environment.

Leaders of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project wrote that the showerhead rule was “a gimmick in search of a problem” and could lead to wasted “enormous amounts of water and energy, which would increase utility bills and greenhouse gas emissions ”. They also said the washing machine rule “will increase utility bills and carbon emissions while reducing manufacturers’ investments in efficient products.”

These last-minute Trump rules that allow products that waste energy and water needlessly are ludicrous and out of step with the climate crisis and long-term drought that much of the country faces, Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, said in a statement. The Biden administration can and should cancel them quickly.

Meanwhile, conservatives active in this field have realized that these rules are likely to come under scrutiny by the Biden administration.

“The usual suspects criticized [the new rules,] but our hope is that once newcomers look at them, they will realize that these are actually good for consumers, and if anything they can benefit the environment well, not hurt it, ”Sam Kazman , general counsel at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told NBC News last month.

For months starting at the end of 2019, the then president made complaints about water spills at the center of his speeches and rallies.

The dishwashers had a small problem. They weren’t giving enough water, so people would run them 10 times, so they ended up using more water. And things not really good. We released him, Trump told a crowd in Carson City, Nevada, late last year. Now you can buy a dishwasher and it looks great. Go buy a dishwasher. Go buy it.

In December 2019, Trump told reporters at the White House that his administration would “look very carefully at sinks and showers and other items in bathrooms” under his leadership, insisting that “people are flushing the toilet. water 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once ”, and that“ they end up using more water ”.

He would later say to the Wisconsin gatherers, “Toilets and showers. You don’t get water.”

The series of comments confused some, who thought the rating was at least an exaggeration and at most outright bogus.

“I don’t know what product they are using but I don’t have to run it two or three times,” former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, director of the Environmental Protection Agency, told NBC. President George W. Bush. News from last year. “My dishwashers are working great, thanks. I do it once. My dishes are clean and everyone is healthy. I don’t know what they’re talking about.”

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