This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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During the four-day week, Lawrence Tesler passed away. The underappreciated inventor created the cut, copy, and paste functions on computers. The Hair Club for Men also lost a client. Meanwhile, agencies issued new final regulations ranging from “biological products” to land erosion taxes.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 53 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 10 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 414 final regulations in 2020. At that pace, there will be 2,958 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 2,964 regulations.
  • There were also 41 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, for a total of 306 on the year. At that pace, there will be 2,186 new proposed regulations in 2020. Last year’s total was 2,106 proposed regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 358 notices, for a total of 2,951 in 2020. At that pace, there will be 21,079 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,804.
  • Last week, 1,551 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,271 pages the previous week.
  • The 2020 Federal Register totals 10,268 pages. It is on pace for 73,343 pages. The 2019 total was 70,250 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 13 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2019’s total was 66 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2020, 81 new rules affect small businesses; four 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:

For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.