Trump Rolls Back Federal Regulations on Dishwashers
The federal government’s restrictions on how much water a residential dishwasher can use in a normal cycle have been changed, bringing a bit of common sense back to America’s kitchens:
In October, Trump’s Department of Energy finalized a rule establishing a new product class for residential dishwashers that will have a normal cycle time of up to one hour and that can use five gallons of water per cycle. Those rules effectively roll back an Obama-era rule limiting standard dishwashers to use no more than 3.1 gallons of water per cycle.
That limit forced dishwasher companies to adjust their products’ cycle lengths. And the supposedly more efficient but less useful dishwashers have been a punchline at Trump’s rallies for years.
The big knock on the restrictions is they failed to save either water or energy:
The tighter rules didn’t lead to energy savings for customers. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers estimated that they actually increased water consumption by 63 billion gallons, as households would have to run their dishwashers multiple cycles, or pre-rinse their dishes by hand, in order to get dishes actually clean.
Under the new rules finalized last month, consumers will have more options. The upcoming generation of dishwashers will take less time to get dishes clean, and they’ll actually get those dishes clean in the first place. As The Wall Street Journal notes, this isn’t “peace in the Middle East or a Covid-19 vaccine.” But it is the sort of rule-making that Americans should want from Washington.
The benefits of rolling back restrictions that made things worse for American consumers, the economy, and the environment should be obvious. The problem is that such harmful rules were adopted in the first place…and may be restored under a Biden administration.