Under Pressure: Trump Administration Trying To Loosen Showerhead Regulations

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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The Trump administration and the Department of Energy are trying to loosen a nearly three decade old regulation that limits how much water can come out of a showerhead per minute.

President Donald Trump raised the issue in July saying, “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.”

A 1992 federal law mandated showerheads couldn’t use more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute. But, as new showerheads came out over the years with multiple nozzles, the Obama administration said the showerhead restrictions apply to what comes out in total, meaning multiple nozzles have to split the 2.5 gallons of water, according to the Associated Press.

The Department of Energy’s new proposal would alter the restriction so that each individual nozzle would spray 2.5 gallons. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Trump Will Sign Executive Order Rescinding And Waiving Regulations In Attempt To Aid Economic Recovery)

The proposal is receiving pushback from conservationists like Andrew deLaski, executive director of the energy conservation group Appliance Standards Awareness Project, according to AP.

“Frankly it’s silly. 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,” deLaski said. “If the president needs help finding a good shower, we can point him to some great consumer websites that help you identify a good showerhead that provides a dense soak and a good shower.”

Vice President of Advocacy at Consumer Reports David Friedman echoed deLaski in a statement, saying the issue isn’t important.

“There is absolutely no need to change current showerhead standards. Thanks to the standards, consumers have access to showerheads that not only score well on CR tests and achieve high levels of customer satisfaction, but also save consumers money  by reducing energy and water consumption.”

But Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said the new policy would be “allowing Americans — not Washington bureaucrats-to choose what kind fo shower heads they have in their homes,” according to AP.

Trump has previously complained of water pressure in faucets and toilets in 2019 and said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would look into their WaterSense program. In April, 2020, the EPA said they would not be making any changes to the program following a review.