This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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CEI released the 2020 edition of Wayne Crews’s annual Ten Thousand Commandments report, which gives a big-picture view of the federal regulatory state. For summaries of the important bits, see here and here. Regulatory agencies issued new final regulations ranging from cigarette labels to 6’2” tuna. Note that some numbers are a bit lower than usual on account of a four-day Memorial Day work week.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 42 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 60 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every four hours.
  • Federal agencies have issued 1,257 final regulations in 2020. At that pace, there will be 3,022 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 2,964 regulations.
  • There were also 38 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, for a total of 914 on the year. At that pace, there will be 2,198 new proposed regulations in 2020. Last year’s total was 2,184 proposed regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 383 notices, for a total of 9,160 in 2020. At that pace, there will be 22,019 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,804.
  • Last week, 1,619 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,765 pages the previous week.
  • The 2020 Federal Register totals 32,975 pages. It is on pace for 78,390 pages. The 2019 total was 79,267 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. Three such rules have been published this year. Four such rules were published in 2019.
  • The running cost tally for 2020’s economically significant regulations ranges from net savings of between $1.38 billion and $4.19 billion. 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 28 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2019’s total was 66 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2020, 251 new rules affect small businesses; 11 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.