CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation
This week in the world of regulation:
- Last week, 68 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register. This is down from 71 new final rules the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 28 minutes — 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- All in all, 1,366 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year.
- If this keeps up, the total tally for 2013 will be 3,462 new final rules.
- Last week, 2,598 new pages were added to the 2013 Federal Register, for a total of 31,766 pages. This is roughly double the average pace.
- At its current pace, the 2013 Federal Register will run 78,629 pages.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. One such rule was published last week (the first since April 18), for a total of 13 so far in 2013.
- The total estimated compliance costs of this year’s economically significant regulations ranges from $5.58 billion to $10.19 billion.
- So far, 94 final rules that meet the broader definition of “significant” have been published in 2013.
- So far this year, 246 final rules affect small business; 21 of them are significant rules.
Highlights from final rules published last week:
- This week’s economically significant regulation is part of the health care bill. It extends the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) program. Insurers who take on patients enrolled in the program are subjected to strict price controls, but in return the government is spending up to $5 billion to make up the shortfall. As I noted earlier, some insurers are likely to reject PCIP enrollees altogether, which would have the unintended consequence of making harder, not easier, for people with pre-existing conditions to get insurance. Since the $5 billion is government spending and not compliance costs, and the rule refuses to quantify administrative costs, I am scoring this rule as zero-cost in our running tally.
- This is only a proposed rule, but still worth noting. New airworthiness directives for Segelflugzeugbau sailplanes are on the way. Fun bit of trivia: Segelflugzeugbau has made 35 appearances in the Federal Register since 1994.
- Only the tax code is more complicated than America’s immigration policy. Fortunately, the State Department is simplifying things a bit for immigrants by eliminating Form OF-224. It is used for “recording an alien’s entitlement to an immigrant visa classification.”
- The federal government has a Colorado Potato Administrative Committee. It is modifying its membership structure.
- New critical habitat for umtanum desert buckwheat and Chite Bluffs bladderpod.
- The FCC is citing the Communications Act of 1934 to justify its regulation of Internet browsers. This should end well.
For more data, go to TenThousandCommandments.com.