CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week In Regulation

This week in the world of regulation:

  • Last week, 68 new final rules were published, down from 69 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 28 minutes — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • All in all, 3,623 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year.
  • If this keeps up, the total tally for 2012 will be 3,728 new rules.
  • Last week, 1,265 new pages were added to the 2012 Federal Register, for a total of 75,450 pages.
  • At its current pace, the 2012 Federal Register will run 76,677 pages.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. The 46 such rules published so far in 2012 have compliance costs of at least $24 billion. Two of the rules do not have cost estimates, and two other rules have cost estimates that do 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.
  • No economically significant rules were published last week.
  • So far, 339 final rules that meet the broader definition of “significant” have been published in 2012.
  • So far this year, 682 final rules affect small business; 94 of them are significant rules.

Highlights from final rules published last week:

  • If you own a citrus grove, you can buy crop insurance from the federal government. A new rule updates some of the program’s provisions.
  • It may be December, but that isn’t stopping the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from issuing a new rule for fishing for summer flounder.
  • Sometimes the federal government will switch from one contractor to another for a given service. When it does, its policy is to “require service contractors and their subcontractors under successor contracts to offer employees of the predecessor contractor and its subcontractors a right of first refusal of employment for positions for which they are qualified.” If the government’s reason for making a switch is performance-related, then this rule may well make doing so pointless.
  • Americans are now allowed to import sand pears from China.
  • If you were thinking of importing pig semen from Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia, or Slovenia, read this regulation first.

For more data, go to TenThousandCommandments.com.