This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

The Los Angeles Dodgers won baseball’s World Series. GDP numbers bounced back in a big way, though the economy is still smaller than a year ago. The presidential election is tomorrow, and all those infernal campaign ads will finally, mercifully, stop. The Senate is out of session until November 9.Meanwhile, regulatory agencies issued new regulations ranging from egg product inspections to importing retail meth ingredients.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 55 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 62 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and three minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 2,749 final regulations in 2020. At that pace, there will be 3,257 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 2,964 regulations.
  • There were 39 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, for a total of 1,820 on the year. At that pace, there will be 2,156 new proposed regulations in 2020. Last year’s total was 2,169 proposed regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 474 notices, for a total of 18,764 in 2020. At that pace, there will be 22,232 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,804.
  • Last week, 1,486 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,439 pages the previous week.
  • The 2020 Federal Register totals 69,118 pages. It is on pace for 81,894 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. Four 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 $1.19 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 63 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2019’s total was 66 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2020, 542 new rules affect small businesses; 24 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.