This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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After last week’s insurrection at the Capitol, the outgoing president, several elected officials, and their supporters have some soul-searching to do. Meanwhile, agencies continued to issue new rules, ranging from showerheads to motorcycle brakes.

On to the data:

  • In the first week of the year, agencies issued 49 final regulations.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 26 minutes.
  • It’s a bit early for annual projections, especially with a new administration coming in on January 20, but so far, we’re on pace for 1,225 final regulations for all of 2021. 2020’s total was 3,353 final regulations.
  • There were 21 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week. With the same caveat, that’s on pace for 525 proposed regulations for the full year. 2020’s total was 2,149 proposed regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 403 notices, for a total of 10,75 in 2021. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,733 new pages were added to the Federal Register in a three-day week, after 3,150 pages the previous week.
  • The 2020 Federal Register totals 1,733 pages, on pace for 43,325 pages in 2021. The 2020 total was 87,352 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. There are no such rules so far in 2021. Agencies published five economically significant rules in 2020, and four in 2019.
  • There is no cost data yet for 2021’s economically significant rules, since there have not yet been any. The running cost tally for 2020’s economically significant regulations ranges from net savings of between $2.04 billion and $5.69 billion, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact number depends on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published two final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2020. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, one new rule affects small businesses. It is not classified as significant. 2020’s totals were 668 rules affecting small businesses, 26 of them significant.

Highlights from last week’s new regulations:

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