CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week In Regulation

This week in the world of regulation:

  • Last week, 71 new final rules were published, up from 38 the previous, holiday-shortened week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 22 minutes — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • All in all, 3,058 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year.
  • If this keeps up, the total tally for 2012 will be 3,820 new rules.
  • Last week, 1,991 new pages were added to the 2012 Federal Register, for a total of 64,313 pages.
  • At its current pace, the 2012 Federal Register will run 79,204 pages.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. The 41 such rules published so far in 2012 have compliance costs of at least $23.9 billion. Two of the rules do not have cost estimates, and a third cost estimate does not give a total annual cost. We assume that rules lacking this basic transparency measure cost the bare minimum of $100 million per year. The true cost is almost certainly higher.
  • One economically significant rule was published last week.
  • So far, 301 final rules that meet the broader definition of “significant” have been published in 2012.
  • So far this year, 575 final rules affect small business; 84 of them are significant rules.

Highlights from final rules published last week:

  • Last week’s economically significant rule is a big one. Strict new CAFE standards, which are minimum gas mileage requirements for car manufacturers’ product lines, were published on Monday. They come into effect starting with the 2017 model year. The EPA estimates annual costs to be $6.49 billion. A minor technical correction was also issued on Friday.
  • Oenophiles may be familiar with Washington state’s Columbia Valley winemaking area. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has established a new Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley region inside the larger Columbia Valley area.
  • A new FAA rule allows passengers to bring approved portable oxygen concentrators on board airplanes.
  • If you want to become a certified seafarer, be aware that the Coast Guard has updated the requirements.

For more data, go to TenThousandCommandments.com.