CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

Just another week in the world of regulation:

  •  72 new final rules were published last week, up from 64 the previous week. That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 20 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All in all, 725 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year. If this keeps up, the total tally for 2012 will be 3,492 new rules.
  •  1,459 new pages were added to the 2012 Federal Register last week, for a total of 15,910 pages. At this pace, the 2012 Federal Register will run 76,492 pages.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. The 10 such rules published so far in 2012 cost at least $15.11 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.
  •  There were 13 significant actions this week, as defined by Executive Order 12866. One of them is economically significant. So far, 96 significant final rules have been published in 2012.
  •  So far this year, 127 final rules affect small businesses. 22 of them are significant rules.

Highlights from final rules published this week:

  • A rule doesn’t have to be economically significant to be expensive. A DEA rule on “Controlled Substances and List I Chemical Registration and Reregistration Fees” has an astoundingly precise estimated cost of $76,226,568.
  •  The Defense Department is still implementing parts of the Privacy Act of 1974.
  •  The Coast Guard sets the schedules for raising and lowering drawbridges across the country. Now, this isn’t rocket science – bridge up, bridge down. One would think local governments could handle such a complicated task on their own. But apparently they can’t. In fact, on Tuesday, the Coast Guard published a rule temporarily revising drawbridge schedules in Morgan City, Louisiana to accommodate some bridge maintenance. Again, this isn’t rocket science – the bridge will be in the down position during maintenance.

For more data, updated daily, go to TenThousandCommandments.com.