This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Plywoood GettyImages-1187753834

Photo Credit: Getty

Kamala Harris was announced as the Democratic dvice-presidential candidate, a massive storm swept through the Midwest, and Congress is out of session until September. The number of new final regulations is also set to pass 2,000 this week. Regulatory agencies issued new regulations ranging from powerline vegetation to risky plywood.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 51 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, same as the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 18 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 1,982 final regulations in 2020. At that pace, there will be 3,176 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 2,964 regulations.
  • There were 30 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, for a total of 1,356 on the year. At that pace, there will be 2,169 new proposed regulations in 2020. Last year’s total was 2,146 proposed regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 392 notices, for a total of 13,911 in 2020. At that pace, there will be 21,011 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,804.
  • Last week, 1,863 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,476 pages the previous week.
  • The 2020 Federal Register totals 49,939 pages. It is on pace for 79,018 pages. The 2019 total was 70,938 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 43 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2019’s total was 66 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2020, 388 new rules affect small businesses; 17 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 regulations:

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