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At an event in Aiken, South Carolina Saturday, Donald Trump spoke about how he has been personally impacted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) regulations. “I’ll give you one regulation,” Trump told TIME in response to a question about the EPA's regulation on U.S. waterways.
Albert H. Teich / Shutterstock.com
“So I build, and I build a lot of stuff. And I go into areas where they have tremendous water … And you have sinks where the water doesn’t come out ... You have showers where I can’t wash my hair properly, it’s a disaster!” he said, to laughter from the crowd.
“It’s true,” Trump continued. “They [the showerheads] have restrictors put in. The problem is you stay under the shower for five times as long.”
Trump is referring to low-flow showerheads, which along with low-flow faucets and toilets, save significant amounts of water while still providing adequate flow, according to the EPA, which developed the WaterSense label for shower heads, faucets and toilets.
The EPA wrote on its website:
Water-saving showerheads that earn the WaterSense label must demonstrate that they use no more than two [gallons per minute. Standard showerheads use 2.5]. The WaterSense label also ensures that these products provide a satisfactory shower that is equal to or better than conventional showerheads on the market. EPA worked with a variety of stakeholders—including consumers who tested various showerheads—to develop criteria for water coverage and spray intensity. All products bearing the WaterSense label—including water-efficient showerheads—must be independently certified to ensure they meet EPA water efficiency and performance criteria.
The EPA enumerated the economic and environmental savings of low flow devices:
The average family could save 2,900 gallons per year by installing WaterSense labeled showerheads. Since these water savings will reduce demands on water heaters, they will also save energy. In fact, the average family could save more than 370 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power a house for 13 days.
On a national scale, if every home in the United States installed WaterSense labeled showerheads, we could save more than $2.2 billion in water utility bills and more than 260 billion gallons of water annually. In addition, we could avoid about $2.6 billion in energy costs for heating water.
Trump's entire presidential campaign has been peppered with outrageous claims on environmental issues. On multiple occasions, he's called global warming "a hoax," going so far as to claim it's a concept “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” Among other comments, Trump has said the Keystone XL pipeline would have “no impact on the environment,” and has cited unusually cold days in fall as evidence that climate change doesn't exist.
He's repeatedly bashed President Obama for his call to action on climate change, particularly during the COP21 Paris talks. President Obama called the UN talks "an act of defiance" in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris. In response, Trump said Obama's speech was “one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen, or perhaps most naive.”
“I think one of the dumbest statements I’ve ever heard in politics, in the history of politics as I know it, which is pretty good, was Obama’s statement that our number one problem is global warming,” said Trump.
He told The Hill, if he were president, he would have skipped the talks altogether. The talks have been generally hailed in the environmental community. Former CEO and Chairman of the Sierra Club Carl Pope called the Paris Agreement, which was finalized this weekend, the "greatest single victory since the emergence of the modern environmental movement."
Check out this hilarious segment on his hair from when The Donald hosted Saturday Night Live:
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A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.
"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."
The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.
My god, White Island volcano in New Zealand erupted today for first time since 2001. My family and I had gotten off it 20 minutes before, were waiting at our boat about to leave when we saw it. Boat ride home tending to people our boat rescued was indescribable. #whiteisland pic.twitter.com/QJwWi12Tvt— Michael Schade (@sch) December 9, 2019
Michael Schade / Twitter
At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.
The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.
Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.
"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."
Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.
Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.
"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.
"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."
The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.
Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.
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