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Potty-mouth politician rants about low-flow toilets

Consumer Reports News: March 18, 2011 05:00 PM

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) wants big government to get out of his bathroom. Turns out the freshman Senator hasn’t had a toilet that works properly for 20 years and he was happy to unload his complaints in a hearing last week before the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “Frankly, my toilets don’t work in my house, and I blame you and people like you who want to tell me what I can install in my house and what I can do,” Rand told Kathleen Hogan, the Department of Energy’s deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency. Now the toilet tirade has gone viral on YouTube.

If Hogan looked a bit abashed, it’s because the DOE doesn’t have anything to do with toilet standards. “What the senator left out of his rant is that it is not the Department of Energy that dictates the water-efficiency standards for toilets. It's the democratically elected, constitutionally empowered United States Congress and the President.,” wrote Bill Scher on “And it just so happens that roughly 20 years ago (19 to be exact) is when our democratically elected representatives passed a law, signed by President George H. W. Bush setting a 1.6 gallons-per-flush standard for newly made toilets.”

Then Scher offered his help finding Paul a low-flow toilet that works: “Fortunately, Consumer Reports recently tested and rated 25 different toilets.” So how did we get in the middle of this?

Scher goes on to say that “Consumer Reports found that ‘the best performers still use the standard 1.6 gallons of water per flush. But some greener models deliver comparable flushing and save hundreds of gallons per year for the same price or less.’"

In our tests of toilets that meet the 1.6-gallon limit, we found such good performers as the Mansfield Alto 137-160 for as little as $150. And some even stingier models were standouts including Kohler's 1.28-gallon Cimarron K-3609 ($300) and Gerber’s 1.1-gallon Ultra Flush ($400).

“I’m all for energy conservation," Paul concluded at the end of his five-minute scolding. "But I wish you would come here to extol me, to cajole me, to encourage, to try to convince me to conserve energy.”


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