Focus Point - Regulations Down the Toilet

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. I was cheered to read that the fight to roll back regulations could be headed for a victory of sorts. Ok, it's over toilets, but you gotta start somewhere.

You'll recall that in 1992, environmentalists and toilet makers supported a federal law requiring that new toilets only use 1.6 gallons per flush, down from the 3.5 gallons of old models. Environmentalists said it would conserve water. But as I noted here a couple of years ago, in the real world -- it often takes a couple of flushes to succeed. Hence, more water's used, not less.

Now, under consumer pressure, representative Joe Knollenberg, a Michigan Republican, has a bill that would end the fine for manufacturing old-style toilets. It would okay new homes and remodeled bathrooms if they have 3.5 gallon toilets.

Environmentalists, of course, will fight it. But I predict the forces of deregulation will soon be flush with victory.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you next time.