CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

After a slow start, 2016 is back to a normal regulatory pace. The Federal Register is on a nearly 80,000-page pace, and the number of new rules is just a touch below normal. New rules from the last week range from trawls to FCC emergency alerts.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 71 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 65 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 35 minutes.
  • With 1,148 final regulations published so far in 2016, the federal government is on pace to issue 3,261 regulations in 2016. Last year’s total was 3,406 regulations.
  • Last week, 1,893 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 2,035 pages the previous week.
  • Currently at 27,896 pages, the 2016 Federal Register is on pace for 79,250 pages. The 2015 Federal Register had an adjusted page count of 81,611.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. Nine such rules have been published so far in 2016, one in the last week.
  • The running compliance cost tally for 2016’s economically significant regulations ranges from $843 million to $1.68 billion.
  • 88 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published this year.
  • So far in 2016, 225 new rules affect small businesses; 33 of them are classified as significant. 

Highlights from selected final rules published last week:

  • A new children’s health insurance regulation under the Medicaid program will cost an estimated $113.8 million this year, with gradually increasing costs in future years. The total estimated cost over the period 2016-2020 is $638.3 million.
  • A relatively brief six pages to define the terms “portfolio reconciliation” and “material terms” for swaps transactions.
  • Remember those annoying FCC emergency alerts from 1980s television? Not only do they still exist in the age of the smartphone and the Internet, a new regulation is making them multilingual, so the FCC can needlessly annoy even more people.
  • The Energy Department deserves credit for enacting a transparency reform. Now, “an interested party can, within a 30-day period after [the] DOE posts a rule establishing or amending an energy conservation standard, identify a possible error in such a rule and request that DOE correct the error before the rule is published in the Federal Register.” Much more to do, but it’s a start.
  • Rationalizing trawls.
  • In a rather bitter bit of irony, the federal government offers financial assistance for burying Native Americans.
  • Federal fire safety requirements for certain health care facilities.

For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.