This Week in Ridiculous Regulations
The news cycle focused almost entirely on the president’s impeachment trial. The Federal Register had a four-day week due to Martin Luther King Day, but agencies still found time to issue new final regulations ranging from researching beef to propane tank arrangements.
On to the data:
- Last week, 44 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 66 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 49 minutes.
- Federal agencies have issued 183 final regulations in 2020. At that pace, there will be 2,860 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 2,964 regulations.
- There were also 43 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, for a total of 126 on the year. At that pace, there will be 1,969 new proposed regulations in 2020. Last year’s total was 2,106 proposed regulations.
- Last week, agencies published 80 notices, for a total of 1,158 in 2020. At that pace, there will be 18,094 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,804.
- Last week, 1,338 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,493 pages the previous week.
- The 2020 Federal Register totals 4,557 pages. It is on pace for 71,204 pages. The 2019 total was 72,561 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (which subtracts 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. One such rule has been published this year. Four such rules were published in 2019.
- The running cost tally for 2020’s economically significant regulations is currently zero. 2019’s total ranges from net savings of $350 million to $650 million, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact number depends on discount rates and other assumptions.
- Agencies have published seven final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2019’s total was 66 significant final rules.
- So far in 2020, 28 new rules affect small businesses; two of them are classified as significant. 2019’s totals were 501 rules affecting small businesses, with 22 of them significant.
Highlights from last week’s new final regulations:
- Here is the regulation to deny visas to pregnant women that made the news last week.
- New energy conservation standards for uninterruptible power supplies.
- Rules and regulations for researching and promoting beef.
- A possible simplification of health insurance portability.
- How to arrange propane tanks.
- The Drug Enforcement Administration is placing a bunch of chemicals into Schedule I, its most severe category for controlled substances, alongside marijuana and heroin.
- Arms trafficking.
- Gun categories, possibly including some deregulation.
- Copyright recordation.
- Three new regulations for classifying radiological medical devices.
- The Transportation Department has new procedures for dealing with regulatory dark matter, such as guidance documents.
- Prayers in public schools.
- On January 17, there was a regulation published for fishing for cod from boats longer than 60 feet. Now there is a rule for fishing for cod from boats shorter than 60 feet.
For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.