Biden reverses Trump-era showerhead rule that sought to increase water flow

Shower
Taking cold showers has been linked to some health benefits.

  • The Biden administration will reverse a Trump-era rule on showerhead water flow.
  • Last December, the Trump administration reversed an Obama-era rule on the issue.
  • Since 1992, federal law has stipulated that showerheads should not put out more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute.
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The Biden administration is set to reverse a Trump-era rule that would have loosened restrictions on the water flow from showerheads, an issue that generated complaints from the former president during his tenure in office, according to The Associated Press.

The Energy Department is returning to the standard that was approved in 2013, noting that most showerheads already provide an ample amount of water for a thorough wash.

Most commercial showerheads are already aligned with the 2013 rule, so the policy change will have little impact among consumers.

Showerheads that could generate the additional supply of water that former President Donald Trump sought are not widely available, Energy officials said.

Since 1992, federal law has stipulated that showerheads should not put out more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute.

However, as newer showerheads were introduced into the market, the administration of former President Barack Obama modified the restrictions to reflect the total amount of water that came out of any nozzles. If a showerhead had three nozzles, for example, no more than 2.5 gallons of water total could be released from all three nozzles per minute.

The Trump rule, which was instituted last December, allowed for each nozzle to release a maximum of 2.5 gallons of water per minute instead of the standard applying to the entire showerhead.

Read more: The definitive oral history of how Trump took over the GOP, as told to us by Cruz, Rubio, and 20 more insiders

The rule change, which would return to the Obama-era standard, is slated to published in the Federal Register next week.

The general public will then have 60 days to comment on the proposal before a final rule is devised, according to The Associated Press.

Energy officials estimated that the previous rule saved US households roughly $38 a year and believe that returning to the old standard will yield similar savings.

Kelly Speakes-Backman, the acting assistant secretary for the department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, touted the move on Friday.

“As many parts of America experience historic droughts, this commonsense proposal means consumers can purchase showerheads that conserve water and save them money on their utility bills,” she said.

Trump, in pushing for the change under his administration, mentioned that his hair needed to be “perfect.”

“So showerheads – you take a shower, the water doesn’t come out. You want to wash your hands, the water doesn’t come out,” Trump said last year. “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.”

Conservation groups were not too keen on the 2020 rule change.

Andrew deLaski, the executive director of the energy conservation group Appliance Standards Awareness Project, told The Associated Press that with four or more nozzles “you could have 10, 15 gallons per minute powering out of the showerhead, literally probably washing you out of the bathroom.”

“At a time when a good portion of the country is experiencing serious drought exacerbated by climate change, there’s no place for showerheads that use needless amounts of water,” he said.

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Mike Gravel, former Alaska Senator and Democratic presidential candidate, dies at 91

Mike Gravel
Former Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska.

  • Former Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska has died aged 91.
  • While in office, he read into the Congressional Record 4,100 pages of the 7,000-page Pentagon Papers.
  • Gravel launched his 2008 Democratic presidential campaign as a critic of the Iraq War.
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Mike Gravel, a former US senator from Alaska who read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record and confronted Barack Obama about nuclear weapons during a later presidential run, has died. He was 91.

Gravel, who represented Alaska as a Democrat in the Senate from 1969 to 1981, died Saturday, according to his daughter, Lynne Mosier. Gravel had been living in Seaside, California, and was in failing health, said Theodore W. Johnson, a former aide.

Gravel’s two terms came during tumultuous years for Alaska when construction of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline was authorized and when Congress was deciding how to settle Alaska Native land claims and whether to classify enormous amounts of federal land as parks, preserves and monuments.

He had the unenviable position of being an Alaska Democrat when some residents were burning President Jimmy Carter in effigy for his measures to place large sections of public lands in the state under protection from development.

Gravel feuded with Alaska’s other senator, Republican Ted Stevens, on the land matter, preferring to fight Carter’s actions and rejecting Stevens’ advocacy for a compromise.

In the end, Congress passed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980, a compromise that set aside millions of acres for national parks, wildlife refuges and other protected areas. It was one of the last bills Carter signed before leaving office.

Gravel’s Senate tenure also was notable for his anti-war activity. In 1971, he led a one-man filibuster to protest the Vietnam-era draft and he read into the Congressional Record 4,100 pages of the 7,000-page leaked document known as the Pentagon Papers, the Defense Department’s history of the country’s early involvement in Vietnam.

Gravel reentered national politics decades after his time in the Senate to twice run for president. Gravel, then 75, and his wife, Whitney, took public transportation in 2006 to announce he was running for president as a Democrat in the 2008 election ultimately won by Obama.

He launched his quest for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination as a critic of the Iraq war.

“I believe America is doing harm every day our troops remain in Iraq – harm to ourselves and to the prospects for peace in the world,” Gravel said in 2006. He hitched his campaign to an effort that would give all policy decisions to the people through a direct vote, including health care reform and declarations of war.

Gravel garnered attention for his fiery comments at Democratic forums.

In one 2007 debate, the issue of the possibility of using nuclear weapons against Iran came up, and Gravel confronted then-Sen. Obama. “Tell me, Barack, who do you want to nuke?” Gravel said. Obama replied: “I’m not planning to nuke anybody right now, Mike.”

Gravel then ran as a Libertarian candidate after he was excluded from later Democratic debates.

In an email to supporters, he said the Democratic Party “no longer represents my vision for our great country.” “It is a party that continues to sustain war, the military-industrial complex and imperialism – all of which I find anathema to my views,” he said.

He failed to get the Libertarian nomination.

Gravel briefly ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. He again criticized American wars and vowed to slash military spending. His last campaign was notable in that both his campaign manager and chief of staff were just 18 at the time of his short-lived candidacy.

“There was never any … plan that he would do anything more than participate in the debates. He didn’t plan to campaign, but he wanted to get his ideas before a larger audience,” Johnson said.

Gravel failed to qualify for the debates. He endorsed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the contest eventually won by now-President Joe Biden.

Gravel was born Maurice Robert Gravel in Springfield, Massachusetts, on May 13, 1930.

In Alaska, he served as a state representative, including a stint as House speaker, in the mid-1960s.

He won his first Senate term after defeating incumbent Sen. Ernest Gruening, a former territorial governor, in the 1968 Democratic primary.

Gravel served two terms until he was defeated in the 1980 Democratic primary by Gruening’s grandson, Clark Gruening, who lost the election to Republican Frank Murkowski.

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