This Week in Ridiculous Regulations
On Tuesday the 2016 Federal Register topped 90,000 pages for the first time ever, and continues to extend its page-count record every day. New rules from the past week range from cooking products to quiet hybrid cars.
On to the data:
- Last week, 86 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 86 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every one hour and 58 minutes.
- With 3,626 final regulations published so far in 2016, the federal government is on pace to issue 3,761 regulations in 2016. Last year’s total was 3,406 regulations.
- Last week, 2,284 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,947 pages the previous week.
- Currently at 91,642 pages, the 2016 Federal Register is on pace for 95,051 pages. This well exceeds the 2010 Federal Register’s previous all-time record adjusted page count of 81,405.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. 32 such rules have been published so far in 2016, one in the last week.
- The running compliance cost tally for 2016’s economically significant regulations ranges from $24.1 billion to $37.1 billion.
- 295 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published this year.
- So far in 2016, 602 new rules affect small businesses; 101 of them are classified as significant.
Highlights from selected final rules published last week:
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a new rule on formaldehyde emissions from wood products. It could cost anywhere from $43 million per year to $301 million per year. This surprisingly precise factor-of-seven difference—especially given the millions of dollars involved—roughly translates to “we have no idea.”
- And EPA production requirements for biomass-based diesel fuel.
- And EPA test procedures for uninterruptible power supplies.
- In fact, the EPA has issued 525 total new final regulations so far this year, making it, as usual, one of the busiest rulemaking agencies. See them all here.
- The Energy Department has a new 49-page rule for dishwashers.
- A national ID card is a bad idea, and has generally been used only in the worst places on earth. It is also in place for America’s poor, but not the rich.
- Airbags for airplane pilots of a certain type of small plane. Will this rule encourage its pilots to take more risks with their passenger’s lives, as economist Sam Peltzman might ask?
- Another new federal rule for “Egg Research and Promotion,” the 549th since 1995. See them all here.
- Certification requirements for housing counseling.
- “Extracts of marihuana will continue to be treated as Schedule I controlled substances,” the DEA’s most severe category, same as heroin.
- Hybrid cars are quiet, which is a nice thing. No more.
- The World Trade Center Health Program cost $240,571,579 in fiscal year 2015. For fiscal year 2025, the going estimate ranges from $265,514,667 to $522,307,537.
- Cooking products.
For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.