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President Joe Biden has reversed a Trump-era rule that lifted the federal cap on water flow for shower heads.
Biden’s Energy Department announced on Friday that it restored an Obama administration standard that caps the flow of water from shower heads at 2.5 gallons per minute. The Trump administration in December 2020 rolled back that standard, using a loophole that applied the cap to individual nozzles rather than the shower head as a whole. The Trump-era rule did not place a limit on the number of nozzles for a shower head fixture.
The shower head rule was part of a series of changes in energy regulations that former president Donald Trump floated during the final months of his administration. During an address at the White House in July 2020, Trump said his administration was committed to “bringing back consumer choice in home appliances” like shower heads.
“You take a shower, the water doesn’t come out,” Trump 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 a shower longer? Because my hair—I don’t know about you, but it has to be perfect. Perfect.”
While energy conservationists and environmentalists criticized the Trump-era rule, conservatives praised the administration for placing fewer regulations on consumer goods.
“People don’t need the government to protect them from too much water in the shower,” Ben Lieberman, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told the Washington Post. “They can simply turn the knob down.”
By December 2020, the Trump administration had rolled back energy regulations for dishwashers and washing machines in addition to shower heads.