CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

Just another week in the world of regulation:

  •  75 new final rules were published last week, up from 72 the previous week. That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 15 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All in all, exactly 800 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year. If this keeps up, the total tally for 2012 will be 3,528 new rules.
  •  1,386 new pages were added to the 2012 Federal Register last week, for a total of 17,296 pages. At this pace, the 2012 Federal Register will run 75,860 pages.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. The 13 such rules published so far in 2012 cost at least $15.2 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 18 significant actions this week, as defined by Executive Order 12866. Three of them are economically significant. So far, 105 significant final rules have been published in 2012.
  •  So far this year, 150 final rules affect small businesses. 25 of them are significant rules.

Highlights from final rules published this week:

  • The biggest regulation of the week came out on Friday to implement part of the health care bill. A change in Medicaid eligibility requirements would increase federal spending by $164 billion over five years by OACT’s estimate. CBO estimates a $162 billion spending increase over 5 years. That’s an average of $32.4 to $32.8 billion per year. For Battered Business Bureau purposes, I am listing its cost as zero since its main cost is on-budget government spending, not off-budget compliance costs.
  •  A new rule governing living organisms inside ships’ ballast waters will cost $92 million per year, but it’s still classified as economically significant. As originally proposed, it would cost an estimated $167 million per year.
  • Another health care regulation covering “Standards related to Reinsurance, Risk Corridors, and Risk Adjustment” will cost nothing in 2012 or 2013. But it will cost $11 billion in 2014, and rise to $18 billion in 2015 and 2016. For Battered Business purposes, I have listed its cost as zero for 2012’s regulatory costs.

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