EPA as Peeping Tom

 

Big government is creepy. On that, I would like to think all readers would agree with me (as you should most topics). However, a couple of stories have recently come to light that have taken big government creepiness and turned it up to eleven. Turns out the government is really super interested in getting in the shower with us.

First, it was the water heaters. Remember what the government did with light bulbs? Well, now they’re at it with residential hot water heaters. These new regulations, by who other than the EPA, will be two to three times the cost that they are today and significantly larger. So, have fun either remodeling your utility closet or having a water heater as an art piece in your living room.

Financial and aesthetic issues aside, it’s really not the government’s business to change up my shower to meet guidelines which shouldn’t exist. It makes me want to leave my house and shower in a hotel where they can’t… wait, they’re also in hotel showers?

Indeed, they are. The Washington Free Beacon reported today that the EPA is spending $15,000 to create a system that allows hotels to track how long guests spend in the shower to get them to “modify their behavior.” I assume we all agree that the government tracking us with the goal of getting us to modify our behavior qualifies as creepy, right? Apparently, guests will be able to check an app to see how much water they used, which is something nobody on vacation, or even a business trip, would ever care about. While the government itself isn’t tracking this information, they are spending money to have hotels track it, and that is far enough over the line for me.

The government is in our business day in and day out, and it’s not unreasonable to want to take a shower without them peeking. You’re just getting weird.

Published in Domestic Policy
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  1. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Dear Amelia,

    You’re taking a long time in the bathroom. Is everything ok?

    Love,

    Gina McCarthy

    • #1
  2. Amelia Hamilton Contributor
    Amelia Hamilton
    @AmeliaHamilton

    *clutches towel*

    • #2
  3. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    For the EPA’s sake I hope they install mics along with the cameras. My rendition of “Wrecking Ball” is EPIC.

    • #3
  4. user_178356 Member
    user_178356
    @

    I saw this, and laughed, imagining the kind of enforcement squad this would require.  But seriously. For the sake of argument, I’ll stipulate that if this is really a problem (highly doubtful), then the solution is obvious: Put a price on the water and the hotel could apply a water surcharge above a certain level. Those who really enjoy a long shower could pay for it, and those who don’t, can take the thoughtfully described “Navy shower” if they want and save their money for something else. But such a scheme would not do – not only would it use the market, but it also would allow the “sin” of wasting water to continue.

    • #4
  5. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Having lived for months at a time in an environment with 4 showers for 130 men and where we made our own potable water I’m accustomed to such concerns about water usage. Of course, I volunteered for that intrusion, and one of the major benefits of no longer serving on a submarine is that I can take a “hollywood” whenever I want.

    • #5
  6. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @carcat74

    Hey, try living with a cistern that gets filled with rainwater; wait, that’s illegal in California now, right?  The water that falls on your house in that state is not YOUR water, it’s the state’s water.

    Anyway, you learn really fast how to conserve water if it doesn’t rain, and the cistern needs filled.  You go to town with a tank several times, or pay someone to haul you a load.  Washing clothes at home?  Unless you do it like my mother-in-law, with a wringer washer and recycling the water (washing lightly soiled clothes first, then progressing through the laundry).  Even now, with a washer and two bathrooms (but no kids), we don’t use more than 1000 gal. a month.  If it hits 2000, we start looking for a leak!  I put large jugs under my A/C drain and use that to water my potted plants and trees.  The drought we had a couple years ago taught me that.  Even when we got rain, I still saved the water.  The jugs are ready again this year.  During the drought, I took ‘Navy’ showers, also!

    • #6
  7. Amelia Hamilton Contributor
    Amelia Hamilton
    @AmeliaHamilton

    I don’t have the slightest problem with saving water, I have a problem with the government telling me to save water…and telling me how to shower to achieve that.

    • #7
  8. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Amelia Hamilton:I don’t have the slightest problem with saving water, I have a problem with the government telling me to save water…and telling me how to shower to achieve that.

    When it comes to showers, Obama’s proclamation that government is something we do together takes on new meaning…

    • #8
  9. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    The Left says the government has no business in our bedroom, but that would be the only room in the house into which the government hasn’t inserted its snout.

    • #9
  10. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    Blame Al Gore.  He started it all with his ManBearPig awareness program.

    • #10
  11. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    When in a hotel, I insist that they change my towels daily; none of this “re-use towels and save water” crap.  All I am saving is THEIR labor and electricity costs.  I take long, hot showers where the water pressure is adequate, which it is NOT at home.  I live in Seattle-we have way enough water!  Sorry, gummint, not with MY water!

    • #11
  12. TKC1101 Inactive
    TKC1101
    @TKC1101

    Eliminate 50% of all civilian federal workers making $150,000 annually. Problem solved. Also a major vote getter except in Washington DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia.

    Too many workers with too little to do.  If  silliness continues, drop the bar to $100,000.  The beatings will continue until morale improves.

    Now, we need a candidate who will propose something like this….

    • #12
  13. Palaeologus Inactive
    Palaeologus
    @Palaeologus

    RushBabe49:When in a hotel, I insist that they change my towels daily; none of this “re-use towels and save water” crap. All I am saving is THEIR labor and electricity costs. I take long, hot showers where the water pressure is adequate, which it is NOT at home. I live in Seattle-we have way enough water! Sorry, gummint, not with MY water!

    Go get ’em, Rushbabe!

    That cheapskate garbage pitched as Gaia worship drives me nuts. “Oh, save the Earth, please re-use your soiled napkin-sized towels.”

    Um, no. I’m the customer, and you are the service provider. Either we can both enjoy this transaction, or neither of us will.

    I live on a peninsula that is literally surrounded by fresh water. The weather sucks. I’ll be damned before I will hoard water.

    • #13
  14. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Can’t wait to see the new “EPA Barbecue”.  Apparently it will have a special grease trap to prevent flare ups and a fan to duct evil gases away….

    The agency announced that it is funding a University of California project to limit emissions resulting in grease drippings with a special tray to catch them and a “catalytic” filtration system.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/backyard-burger-and-wiener-roasts-targeted-by-epa/article/2561474

    They can have my charcoal grill from my cold dead, somewhat greasy, fingers….

    • #14
  15. user_435274 Thatcher
    user_435274
    @JohnHanson

    Kozak:They can have my charcoal grill from my cold dead, somewhat greasy, fingers….

    Ah, but when they slap a $20.00 tax on your 5 lb bag of charcoal, ban home use of propane as a national security interest, and use drones to cite all backyard point emission sources?

    • #15
  16. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    John Hanson:

    Kozak:They can have my charcoal grill from my cold dead, somewhat greasy, fingers….

    Ah, but when they slap a $20.00 tax on your 5 lb bag of charcoal, ban home use of propane as a national security interest, and use drones to cite all backyard point emission sources?

    I’ll have to turn to the black market for my charcoal, generate my own methane (not a problem really) and grill in the basement.  Sic Semper Tyrannis!

    • #16
  17. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Nick Stuart:The Left says the government has no business in our bedroom, but that would be the only room in the house into which the government hasn’t inserted its snout.

    You missed the whole Obamacare birth control thing?

    • #17
  18. user_199279 Coolidge
    user_199279
    @ChrisCampion

    The EPA:  An unregulated regulatory agency that exists with no political recourse available to the citizens it perpetually antagonizes.  I can’t vote an EPA director out of office if I don’t like what they’re doing.  My only recourse is a lawsuit, and who has the biggest pile of cash in the country to pay for lawyers?  Answer:  Not me.

    Sooner or later this long train of abuses, etc., will result in something.  I’m not sure what that will look like, but I view the EPA’s annual outrages like I view momentum:  An object moving in a straight line will continue to do so unless acted upon by an outside force.

    We are the outside force.  The hard part is finding some way to apply pressure to an organization that seems to be, if I have this right, unstoppable.

    Why do we let these agencies grow in power and influence over the smallest details of our lives?  Oh, that’s right.  I forgot.

    It’s because Democrats.

    • #18
  19. Joker Member
    Joker
    @Joker

    One of dozens of EPA related pet peeves of mine is the low flow shower head. It sprays half the water and just makes me stand there twice as long to take a shower. The only shower heads you can buy now are a pathetic substitute for the former glory of basically standing under a fire hose for five minutes.

    And to what end? We’re not saving water. We’d literally need to load water into a rocket and send it out into space to lose water.

    I didn’t vote for water saving low flow toilets or showers. I didn’t vote for curly lightbulbs. I didn’t vote for tiny life threatening cars with $4K of pollution control devices.

    Anybody who wants to conserve (even though it will have no effect on Mother Earth) is welcome to pursue that dream. Why that is inflicted on the rest of us is beyond me.

    • #19
  20. Pony Convertible Inactive
    Pony Convertible
    @PonyConvertible

    Water conservation is one of my “pet” aggravations. 

    I live in the Midwest in an area that uses a reservoir for our water supply.  We never have a water shortage.  More water falls from the sky than our community can ever use up. 

    2012 was the worst drought anyone can remember, but still we had plenty of water in the reservoir.  Yet the City passed an ordinance banning the watering of lawns or outdoor plants.   I think it made them feel good to force us to conserve even though there was no need for it.

    When the school was remodeled, they spent tens of thousands of dollars for a system to recover and purify the rainwater coming off the roof.  It never seemed to occur to anybody that they were already using recovered rain water that was purified by an existing system that was more efficient than the one they installed.   Don’t laugh, all of you helped pay for it.  They got a grant from the Federal Government.

    Then there is the fact that I have to deal with shower heads with low flow and toilets that don’t flush well. 

    NUTS!

    • #20
  21. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Joker:One of dozens of EPA related pet peeves of mine is the low flow shower head. It sprays half the water and just makes me stand there twice as long to take a shower. The only shower heads you can buy now are a pathetic substitute for the former glory of basically standing under a fire hose for five minutes.

    And to what end? We’re not saving water. We’d literally need to load water into a rocket and send it out into space to lose water.

    FYI most of the shower heads come with a plastic “restrictor” that can be popped right out. If not a drill takes care of them very nicely. Just sayin…

    • #21
  22. Look Away Inactive
    Look Away
    @LookAway

    One of the reasons not to buy into the whole urban living thing goes to the heart of this very issue. I have a 650 ft well, full of water in an 8 inch pipe, do the math but it is a lot of water. I have a free flow shower head and a 100 gallon water heater. The drain goes into a septic tank that then replenishes Mother Earth. Heaven!

    • #22
  23. user_158368 Inactive
    user_158368
    @PaulErickson

    Indeed, they are. The Washington Free Beacon reported today that the EPA is spending $15,000 to create a system that allows hotels to track how long guests spend in the shower to get them to “modify their behavior.” 

    I had to check the link to be sure.  $15,000?  That’s a dust mite on a rounding error.  That may be all the government is putting up now for the R&D.  But what’s this going to cost to implement – and who pays for it?

    (Well, the last question is easy.  We’ll pay for it.)

    • #23
  24. user_138562 Moderator
    user_138562
    @RandyWeivoda

    Will we be able to apply for a tax credit if we regularly shower with a partner?

    • #24
  25. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Randy Weivoda:Will we be able to apply for a tax credit if we regularly shower with a partner?

    Only if your partner is same sex….

    • #25
  26. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    The King Prawn:Having lived for months at a time in an environment with 4 showers for 130 men and where we made our own potable water I’m accustomed to such concerns about water usage. Of course, I volunteered for that intrusion, and one of the major benefits of no longer serving on a submarine is that I can take a “hollywood” whenever I want.

    You should have been on a 688 class sub.  We actually made more water than the crew could use, and had to shut the evaporator down from time to time.  No one cared if the sonar girls took their normal two showers a day . . .

    • #26
  27. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @ErikaKinder

    Please take a geology class. Water issues are very, very real.

    I have no problem with long showers – it’s the lawn watering and greedy farmers leaching every drop out of the ogallala aquifer that really pisses me off.

    As for the water savers in your shower head, they are ridiculously easy to remove.

    Look it up on YouTube.

    • #27
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