The week in ridiculous regulations: otter casualties and moving the goalpost
Fox News settled its defamation case over its false reporting on the 2020 election with voting machine maker Dominion. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau leaked about 250,000 people’s personal information. Meanwhile, agencies issued new regulations ranging from spearmint oil to otter casualties.
On to the data:
- Agencies issued 46 final regulations last week, after 71 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 39 minutes.
- With 935 final regulations so far in 2023, agencies are on pace to issue 3,036 final regulations this year.
- For comparison, there were 3,168 new final regulations in 2022, and 3,257 new final regulations in 2021.
- Agencies issued 34 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 70 the previous week.
- With 674 proposed regulations so far in 2023, agencies are on pace to issue 2,188 proposed regulations this year.
- For comparison, there were 2,044 new proposed regulations in 2022, and 2,094 in 2021.
- Agencies published 461 notices last week, after 442 notices the previous week.
- With 6,849 notices so far in 2023, agencies are on pace to issue 22,237 notices this year.
- For comparison, there were 22,505 notices in 2022, and 20,018 in 2021.
- Last week, 1,352 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 2,262 pages the previous week.
- The average Federal Register issue in 2023 contains 320 pages.
- With 24,666 pages so far, the 2023 Federal Register is on pace for 80,084 pages.
- For comparison, the 2022 Federal Register totals 80,756 pages, and 2021’s is 74,352 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (subtracting skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set in 2016.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. This will soon change to $200 million. There are eight such rules so far in 2023, none in the last week.
- This is on pace for 26 economically significant regulations in 2023.
- For comparison, there were 43 economically significant rules in 2022, and 26 in 2021. These comparisons will not be strictly apple-to-apple after the threshold change takes effect. The change will likely lower year’s number.
- The total estimated cost of 2023’s economically significant regulations so far ranges from $55.92 billion to $78.74 billion, according to numbers self-reported by agencies.
- For comparison, the running cost tally for 2022’s economically significant rules ranges from net costs of $45.28 billion to $78.05 billion. In 2021, net costs ranged from $13.54 billion to $19.36 billion. The exact numbers depend on discount rates and other assumptions.
- There were four regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant” last week, after five the previous week.
- So far this year, there are 79 new regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant.” This is on pace for 256 significant regulations in 2023.
- For comparison, there were 255 such new regulations in 2022, and 387 in 2021.
- So far in 2023, 236 new regulations affect small businesses, on pace for 766. Twenty-two of them are significant, on pace for 71.
- For comparison, in 2022 there were 912 rules affecting small businesses, 70 of them significant. 2021’s totals were 912 rules affecting small businesses, 101 of them significant.
Highlights from last week’s new regulations:
- A new handling regulation from the Far West Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee.
- A correction to a rule for refugee status claims.
- The Foreign Assets Control Service is inflation-adjusting its civil penalties.
- Freedom of Information Act regulations from the CIA.
- ID requirements for transportation workers.
- Delegation of maritime enforcement responsibilities.
- Statutory updates to the Small Business Administration’s Disaster Assistance Loan Program.
- The Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office is inflation-adjusting its civil penalties.
- The EPA issued a correction for a rule regarding testing provisions for air emission sources.
- Implementing the HAVANA Act of 2021.
- Acceptable numbers of northern sea otter casualties during marine construction projects.
- Quality control provisions in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Air traffic control routes.
- New rules for shutting down energy projects on the Outer Continental Shelf.
- Rules for the Engineer Corps doing lab research for others.
- Chiropractic services for veterans.
- Electronic indicators for mailing hazardous materials.
- Supply chain security for communications equipment.
- The Small Business Administration is removing obsolete forms for the Surety Bond Guarantee Program.
For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.