Former President Donald Trump made headlines when he implemented rules that loosened restrictions on the water pressure allowed through U.S. showerheads.
Late last week, however, the Biden administration’s Department of Energy announced that it would be rescinding those rules and tightening federal requirements for water flow efficiency.
“It has to be perfect”
Under Trump’s rules, showerheads were allowed to flow at a rate higher than the current maximum of 2.5 gallons per minute.
Biden and others in the administration are essentially mandating that many Americans cannot enjoy the shower that they might prefer even as the nation continues to experience widespread chaos and instability.
For his part, Trump made the case for rolling back restrictions during an event last year.
“Showerheads — you take a show, the water doesn’t come out,” the then-president said. “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 shower longer? Because my hair, I don’t know about you, but it has to be perfect. Perfect.”
An untold number of Americans certainly resonated with Trump’s concerns, but Democrats are generally more interested in regulating and preserving water through government restrictions.
“Safeguarding consumer choice”
The Trump administration became known for reviewing so-called efficiency rules that many on the right saw as an infringement of their freedom. A number of critics argued that the answer to water shortages does not lie in low-pressure showerheads.
Dan Brouillette, who served as Energy secretary during the Trump administration, insisted that the rollback of the showerhead restrictions upheld the promise of “reducing regulatory burdens and safeguarding consumer choice.”
Now, the Biden administration has responded by reinstating previous water-pressure rules, leading critics to argue that the decision is another example of big-government regulation being used to patch over a serious issue that requires real solutions.
California and other states are facing prolonged periods of drought combined with insufficient water storage options — and cutting back on water usage is just one part of an overall solution.
With some environments adamantly lobbying Democrats against infrastructure projects that would provide additional storage, Republicans might benefit politically by highlighting this issue ahead of next year’s midterm elections.