You are here

OpenMarket: Regulatory Reform

  • CEI's Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    August 3, 2015 6:42 AM

    One of this week’s 55 proposed regulations is a 264-page Interior Department regulation to prevent water stream pollution from coal mines. Final rules published cover everything from dairy tariffs to extension cords.

    On to the data:

    • Last week, 74 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 65 the previous week.
    • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 16 minutes.
    • So far in 2015, 1,875 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of 3,189 new regulations this year, which would be several hundred fewer rules than the usual total of 3,500-plus.
    • Last week, 1,586 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,540 pages the previous week.
    • Currently at 45,795 pages, the 2015 Federal Register is on pace for 77,882 pages.
    • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. Sixteen such rules have been published so far this year, none in the past week.
    • The total estimated compliance cost of 2015’s economically significant regulations ranges from $1.32 billion to $1.41 billion for the current year.
    • 157 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published so far this year.
    • So far in 2015, 323 new rules affect small businesses; 48 of them are classified as significant. 
  • CEI's Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    July 27, 2015 8:24 AM

    The Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill turned five years old this week (see CEI analysis herehere, and here). Other than that, it was business as usual, with 44 proposed regulations and more than 60 final regulations covering everything from bigeye tuna to heat pumps.

    On to the data:

    • Last week, 65 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 78 the previous week.
    • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 35 minutes.
    • So far in 2015, 1,801 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of 3,171 new regulations this year, which would be several hundred fewer rules than the usual total of 3,500-plus.
    • Last week, 1,540 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 2,764 pages the previous week.
    • Currently at 44,209 pages, the 2015 Federal Register is on pace for 77,833 pages.
    • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. Sixteen such rules have been published so far this year, none in the past week.
    • The total estimated compliance cost of 2015’s economically significant regulations ranges from $1.32 billion to $1.41 billion for the current year.
    • 150 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published so far this year.
    • So far in 2015, 313 new rules affect small businesses; 46 of them are classified as significant. 
  • CEI's Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    July 20, 2015 8:43 AM

    It was a busy week for the Federal Register, which included a 629-page proposed regulation from the EPA for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy for cars and trucks, as well as final regulations covering everything from finishing wood to inspecting tunnels.

    On to the data:

    • Last week, 78 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 56 the previous week.
    • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and nine minutes.
    • So far in 2015, 1,736 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of 3,168 new regulations this year, which would be several hundred fewer rules than the usual total of 3,500-plus.
    • Last week, 2,764 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,647 pages the previous week.
    • Currently at 42,669 pages, the 2015 Federal Register is on pace for 77,864 pages.
    • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. Sixteen such rules have been published so far this year, one in the past week.
    • The total estimated compliance cost of 2015’s economically significant regulations ranges from $1.32 billion to $1.41 billion for the current year.
    • 145 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published so far this year.
    • So far in 2015, 298 new rules affect small businesses; 46 of them are classified as significant. 
  • Sunsetting Federal Regulations

    July 15, 2015 1:19 PM

    An average of around 70 rules and regulations are issued every week. There were 3,554 in 2015, and have been 1,693 in 2015 as of today.

    Rules appear, but rarely are rolled back even though the administration’s “Retrospective Review of Regulations.” E.O. 13563 calls for agencies to: 

    [P]periodically review its existing significant regulations to determine whether any such regulations should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed so as to make the agency’s regulatory program more effective or less burdensome.

    (Gotta love the word “expanded” tossed in there.) Enforcement is unclear and rollbacks amount to a drop in the bucket and. Although prospects are dim, some in Congress is looking again at review and sunsetting of regulations.

    Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) introduced the “Small Business Regulatory Sunset Act”; versions appeared in this (S. 846) and the prior congressional session. It calls for agencies to publish plans for review of small business rules, assemble comments from the affected and sunset rules after seven years unless agencies reaffirm (see this coalition letter in support).

    Similarly Sen. Roy Blunt’s (R-Mo.) “Regulatory Review and Sunset Act“ (S. 1067) (The House version is H.R. 2010 from Rep. Randy Hultgren) provides for reviews of the heftiest of rules and for assessments of whether they should be “continued, modified, consolidated, or terminated.” 

    This isn’t new; President George H.W. Bush issued regulatory moratoria and review back in the early 1990s. And upon entering office, President Obama’s chief of staff announced a regulatory freeze of the second President Bush’s pending rules in the first press release the administration issued. These freezes didn’t reduce the march of rulemaking much. The Federal Register popped back up to where it had been as if nothing had occurred, even hitting record levels recently.

    Legislation like sunsetting matters since campaigns of a few months are inadequate to examine the fruits of an intense, thorough audit; plus rules often implement statutory requirements and are exempt from executive waiver and so require law. (Normally, that is; with respect to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, waivers were applied via bulletin, memo and press release by the Internal Revenue Service.) 

    Obama’s unilateral waivers notwithstanding, getting regulations off the books requires the same laborious public notice and comment procedures of a new rule (well, that new rules are supposed to, but may not actually, get).

  • CEI's Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    July 13, 2015 6:24 AM

    The newest batch of federal regulations cover everything from municipal fireworks shows to Venezuelan sanctions. On Monday, the Federal Register will likely pass the 40,000-page mark.

    On to the data:

    • Last week, 56 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 91 the previous week.
    • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation precisely every three hours.
    • So far in 2015, 1,658 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of 3,140 new regulations this year, which would be several hundred fewer rules than the usual total of 3,500-plus.
    • Last week, 1,647 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,478 pages the previous week.
    • Currently at 39,905 pages, the 2015 Federal Register is on pace for 75,578 pages.
    • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. Fifteen such rules have been published so far this year, one in the past week.
    • The total estimated compliance cost of 2015’s economically significant regulations ranges from $1.16 billion to $1.25 billion for the current year.
    • 138 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published so far this year.
    • So far in 2015, 281 new rules affect small businesses; 43 of them are classified as significant. 
  • CEI's Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    July 6, 2015 8:28 AM

    It was a short work week due to the July 4 holiday, but regulators still managed to publish 34 proposed regulations and more than 90 final regulations covering everything from cranberries to rules of acquisition.

    On to the data:

    • Last week, 91 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 64 the previous week.
    • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every one hour and 51 minutes.
    • So far in 2015, 1,602 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of 3,071 new regulations this year, which would be several hundred fewer rules than the usual total of 3,154-plus.
    • Last week, 1,478 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,343 pages the previous week.
    • Currently at 38,258 pages, the 2015 Federal Register is on pace for 75,312 pages.
    • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. Fourteen such rules have been published so far this year, one in the past week.
    • The total estimated compliance cost of 2015’s economically significant regulations ranges from $1.14 billion to $1.22 billion for the current year.
    • 133 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published so far this year.
    • So far in 2015, 269 new rules affect small businesses; 40 of them are classified as significant. 
  • Independence Day? Yeah, Right: A Fourth of July Roundup of Federal Regulation

    July 1, 2015 10:47 AM

    Congress is in recess and can’t do any more damage as the Fourth of July approaches, but federal agencies remain in business until they enjoy their federal holiday on Friday.

    That matters. In our annual Ten Thousand Commandments, we show that those federal agencies now do the bulk of lawmaking in the founders’ republic, never mind their having been elected by no one. And over-regulation is a bipartisan phenomenon.

    At calendar year-end 2014, the Federal Register stood at 77,687 pages. The Register is the daily depository of federal rules, regulations, notices and presidential documents. While that’s “only” the sixth highest level ever, five of those six have occurred under the current administration.

    Among those pages, there were 3,554 final rules (with another 2,383 at the proposed stage). Congress passed 224 laws during the year. So the multiple of agency rules over laws was 16. I like to call that multiple the “Unconstitutionality Index.”

    So here we are, at nearly mid-year. What have the agencies been up to in 2015?

    Well, the Federal Register stands at 37,845 pages as of today, July 1.

    The number of final rules issued so far in 2015 is 1,568. Of these, 130 are considered “significant” under E.O. 12866. Often that means they may cost over $100 million annually, sometimes they are considered significant for other more or less dramatic reasons, like when they do something “serious,” “material,” or “novel.”  

  • CEI's Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    June 29, 2015 2:14 PM

    The big news from last week was the Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell decision, which upheld the IRS’ right to issue regulations directly contradicting legislation passed by Congress and signed by the president. But other agencies also issued more than 60 new regulations covering everything from cotton farmers’ conduct to infant formula.

    On to the data:

    • Last week, 64 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 81 the previous week.
    • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 38 minutes.
    • So far in 2015, 1,511 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of 3,071 new regulations this year, which would be several hundred fewer rules than the usual total of 3,500-plus.
    • Last week, 1,343 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,542 pages the previous week.
    • Currently at 36,780 pages, the 2015 Federal Register is on pace for 74,757 pages.
    • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. Thirteen such rules have been published so far this year, two in the past week.
    • The total estimated compliance cost of 2015’s economically significant regulations ranges from $1.50 billion to $1.57 billion for the current year.
    • 125 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published so far this year.
    • So far in 2015, 261 new rules affect small businesses; 37 of them are classified as significant. 
  • One Nation, Ungovernable? Confronting the Modern Regulatory State

    June 22, 2015 4:05 PM

    (Note: What follows is a hyperlinked version of the introductory paragraphs to the chapter of the same name in the new Fraser Institute/Mercatus Center book What America’s Decline in Economic Freedom Means for Entrepreneurship and Prosperity, edited by Donald J. Boudreaux.)

    When policymakers neglect federal regulation, they ignore arguably the greatest element of governmental influence in the United States’ economy and perhaps in society itself. One cannot prove it, but it would be no great surprise to find the regulatory enterprise to constitute a greater bulk than federal spending. As a policy concern, regulation merits attention like the $18 trillion national debt receives. This essay provides a roadmap for focusing attention on regulation.

  • CEI's Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

    June 22, 2015 9:40 AM

    The Federal Register passed the 35,000-page mark with new regulations covering everything from food additives to chimpanzees.

    On to the data:

    • Last week, 81 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 64 the previous week.
    • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 4 minutes.
    • So far in 2015, 1,446 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of exactly 3,064 new regulations this year, which would be several hundred fewer rules than the usual total of 3,500-plus.
    • Last week, 1,542 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,752 pages the previous week.
    • Currently at 35,437 pages, the 2015 Federal Register is on pace for 75,078 pages.
    • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. Eleven such rules have been published so far this year, none in the past week.
    • The total estimated compliance cost of 2015’s economically significant regulations ranges from $1.39 billion to $1.46 billion for the current year.
    • 119 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published so far this year.
    • So far in 2015, 255 new rules affect small businesses; 35 of them are classified as significant. 

Pages

Subscribe to OpenMarket: Regulatory Reform