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Trump's bizarre obsession with water pressure leads to new attack on environment

Trump’s latest assault on the environment is weakening showerhead standards because he claims people cannot wash their ‘beautiful hair properly.’

By Emily Singer - August 13, 2020
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Donald Trump

The Department of Energy on Wednesday announced it wants to lower water efficiency standards on showerheads, a response to Donald Trump’s numerous complaints that water pressure is not strong enough for him to get wet in the shower.

“You turn on the shower — if you’re like me, you can’t wash your beautiful hair properly,” Trump said at a Whirlpool Corporation manufacturing plant in Ohio on Aug. 6.

“You waste 20 minutes longer,” Trump continued. “‘Please come out.’ The water — it drips, right? You know what I’m talking — they put restrictors on. I got rid of that. I signed it out. That’s common sense.”

Water efficiency standards for showerheads were created in a 1992 law. The standards save both water and costs on utility bills, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

However, Trump has relentlessly railed against these efficiency standards and has for months said he’s looking to ease regulations on things like showerheads, sinks, toilets, and washing machines because of a bizarre insistence on a lack of water pressure.

In a speech he gave on rolling back regulations on July 16, Trump said:

“We’re bringing back consumer choice in home appliances so that you can buy washers and dryers, showerheads and faucets. 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.”

 

“Dishwashers — you didn’t have any water, so you — the people that do the dishes — you press it, and it goes again, and you do it again and again. So you might as well give them the water because you’ll end up using less water. So we made it so dishwashers now have a lot more water. And in many places — in most places of the country, water is not a problem. They don’t know what to do with it. It’s called ‘rain.’ They don’t have a problem.”

Back in December, Trump went on a similar diatribe about water efficiency standards, claiming without any evidence that water doesn’t come out of sinks, and that people have to flush the toilet up to 15 times because of a lack of pressure.

“We have a situation where we’re looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms, where you turn the faucet on in areas where there’s tremendous amounts of water, where the water rushes out to sea because you could never handle it. And you don’t get any water. You turn on the faucet — you don’t get any water. They take a shower, and water comes dripping out, it’s dripping out very quietly, dripping out.”

 

“People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once. They end up using more water. So EPA is looking at that very strongly, at my suggestion. You go into a new building or a new house or a new home, and they have standards where you don’t get water. You can’t wash your hands, practically, there’s so little water comes out of the faucet. And the end result is you leave the faucet on, and it takes you much longer to wash your hands. You end up using the same amount of water.”

Experts, however, say there is no issue.

“Frankly it’s silly,” Andrew deLaski, the executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, told the Associated Press. “The country faces serious problems. We’ve got a pandemic, serious long-term drought throughout much of the West. We’ve got global climate change. Showerheads aren’t one of our problems.”

Even Trump’s own Environmental Protection Agency looked into Trump’s claim about a lack of water pressure and concluded he was wrong back in April.

The EPA’s review found that the WaterSense program — which provides labels on products to show they are water efficient, similar to the EPA’s EnergyStar program on energy-efficient appliances — were “sufficient,” according to CNN.

Nevertheless, Trump is still announcing intentions to roll back water-saving standards.

Aside from showerheads, the DOE on Wednesday also announced a new proposal that would lower efficiency standards for clothes washing machines and dryers, which Trump also said don’t work properly due to the lack of water pressure.

“For three decades, washers and dryers have gotten more and more efficient while performing better. We shouldn’t go back to models that waste huge amounts of energy and water but don’t get clothes any cleaner,” deLaski said in a news release. “DOE appears more interested in notching up another senseless regulatory rollback than in saving energy and helping consumers reduce their utility bills.”

And last year, the DOE proposed rollbacks on standards for dishwashers, furnaces, and light bulbs.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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