Donald Trump's Administration Sued By Environmental Groups Over ‘Senseless’ New Dishwasher Rule

Sean Neumann
·3 min read

Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty President Donald Trump

A week after President Donald Trump’s administration was mocked for creating new rules on showerheads amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a group of environmental organizations sued the Department of Energy over what they’re calling another “senseless” rule on dishwashers.

The president's battle with household appliances quietly unfolded throughout 2020. Trump, 74, repeatedly laid out bizarre and lengthy complaints over low water pressure at different points during his failed re-election bid and continued to do so in the campaign's final weeks.

Earlier this summer, the president complained during a speech at the White House that low shower pressure ruins his “perfect” hair and that dishwashers don’t work fast enough.

"Dishwashers," Trump said in July. "You didn’t have any water, so you — the people that do the dishes — you press it, and it goes again, and you do it again and again.”

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) announced it filed a lawsuit Tuesday, alongside other environmental groups like the Sierra Club.

Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images Donald Trump

The NRDC alleged in a statement that the Trump administration circumvented “longtime energy and water efficiency standards for dishwashers” and “needlessly” created new requirements, “potentially leading to higher household utility bills and more pollution.”

Previously, the Energy Department distinguished between two classes of dishwashers: standard and compact. In October, the administration announced it would recognize a third class of “standard dishwashers that have cycle times of 60 minutes or less.”

RELATED: U.S. Changes Showerhead Restrictions — as Trump Has Complained Old Rule Ruined His ‘Perfect’ Hair

By creating the new category, NRDC energy efficiency advocate Joe Vukovich said in a statement that Trump’s administration was taking an action that “hurts consumers and all who’ve benefited from the significant efficiency gains in dishwashers over more than 30 years.”

“It also sets an appalling precedent that the agency could abuse by picking any trivial feature of an appliance and exempting it from all efficiency standards,” Vukovich added.

The Energy Department did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/Getty Images Donald Trump

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Trump’s administration passed a new regulation last week that successfully boosted the amount of water-per-minute that can be dumped out by American showerheads.

Critics mocked Trump for focusing on the issue during the ongoing economic and health crises hanging over the U.S., because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At least 338,739 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19, according to a New York Times tracker, while at least 19.5 million have contracted the novel coronavirus.

President-elect Joe Biden derided Trump’s administration on Tuesday for rolling out COVID-19 vaccines too slowly: "The effort to distribute and administer the vaccine is not progressing as it should," Biden, 78, said.

Regardless of the timing, industry leaders say the move was also unnecessary.

“It was a regulatory solution in search of a problem — a problem that doesn’t really exist,” Kerry Stackpole, the executive director of Plumbing Manufacturers International, told The Washington Post.

Stackpole added: “The marketplace was not asking for this.”