Trump Administration Wants to Ditch Energy-Efficient Dishwashers

The Trump Administration announced its intention to roll back yet another climate change efficiency standard — this one for dishwashers as a result of a petition by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a well-known climate skeptic.  The Hill reported that the Energy Department is planning to allow faster-cleaning dishwashers that do not comply with current energy efficiency standards, which will overturn years of progress on making these appliances energy efficient.

Why This Matters:  Many Americans will give thanks on Thursday for their dishwashers. And most do not object to the time it takes for them to operate – they just want clean, safe dishes.  The new rule would exempt new dishwashers from the prior energy efficiency standards — and that is a big number.  For example, this year, there were nearly 9 million dishwashers sold in the U.S.  The new standards would also waive the water efficiency requirements as well.  The proposal would hurt consumers who will spend more on electricity and water for the new machines.  There would be a big difference in savings — the energy-efficient dishwashers of today use roughly half the water and energy of their counterparts of 20 years ago, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The CEI Arguments Rebutted

First, the CEI and DOE argue that the current energy-efficient dishwashers’ quick cycles are designed only for lightly soiled dishes.  Environmental and consumer groups argue that today’s dishwashers have built-in sensors that detect how dirty plates are, ensuring dishwashers take only as long as they need to get your dishes clean.

Second, CEI and DOE argue that it is only energy efficiency that has slowed dishwasher run times.  But the environmental and consumer groups claim that a variety of factors has slowed down the wash cycle, including new types of detergents and consumer preference for quieter dishwashers that spray water at dishes with less pressure.

Should You Wash By Hand?

Don’t stress!  The conventional wisdom according to Treehugger.com  is that dishwashers beat hand-washing dishes, hands down, so to speak. By the numbers, according to one study at the University of Bonn in Germany, the dishwasher uses only half the energy, one-sixth of the water, and less soap, to boot.

To Go Deeper:  Check out Treehugger’s detailed analysis, which explains that while “it’s possible to be more efficient when hand-washing, but it’s pretty tough.”

Up Next

Germany Is Closing Nuclear Power Plants — But What To Do With the Waste For A Million Years?

Germany Is Closing Nuclear Power Plants — But What To Do With the Waste For A Million Years?

Where does one store nearly 2,000 containers of high-level radioactive waste that is absolutely unbreakable and guaranteed to never leak? That is the challenge facing a team of German scientists tasked with figuring out how to safely close down all of Germany’s nuclear power plants by 2031 — and the bar is high — they […]

Continue Reading 494 words
Trump Administration Approves Four New LNG Terminals for South Texas

Trump Administration Approves Four New LNG Terminals for South Texas

Moving full speed ahead on new fossil fuel infrastructure, the Trump Administration’s federal regulators approved permits for three new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals in the Rio Grande Valley and the expansion of another in Corpus Christi, according to the Houston Chronicle.  They do not have financing and final approvals yet, and a coalition of environmentalists, Native Americans, shrimpers, fishers, and communities working under the banner Save RGV From LNG are fighting the  Brownsville projects due to safety and environmental concerns.

Why This Matters:  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with President Trump’s appointees at the helm have sped through 11 LNG projects in the last 9 months alone.

Continue Reading 528 words
CA Governor Halts Fracking Permits, NY Governor In Standoff Over Natural Gas

CA Governor Halts Fracking Permits, NY Governor In Standoff Over Natural Gas

Governors on both coasts are going to battle with oil and gas companies over climate change. Continuing his strong environmental protection agenda, California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday announced new regulations putting in place a moratorium on fracking and curbed steam-injected oil drilling in the state, which environmentalists have long opposed.  Meanwhile, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo […]

Continue Reading 497 words