This Week in Ridiculous Regulations
CEI’s Wayne Crews looked at the Biden administration’s dismantling transparency reforms for guidance documents and warned that political spending on scientific research would become political. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from effluent analysis to bank executive loans.
On to the data:
- Agencies issued 62 final regulations last week, after 60 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 42 minutes.
- With 1,198 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,088 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,149 final regulations.
- Agencies issued 29 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 48 the previous week.
- With 836 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,155 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
- Agencies published 421 notices last week, after 408 notices the previous week.
- With 8,552 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 22,041 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
- Last week, 1,164 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,933 pages the previous week.
- The average Federal Register issue this year contains 287 pages.
- With 27,796 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 71,369 pages in 2021. The 2020 total was 87,352 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (subtracting 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 two such rules so far in 2021, none from the last week. Agencies published five economically significant rules in 2020, and four in 2019.
- The running cost tally for 2021’s economically significant rules ranges from net savings of $100.7 million to net costs of $362.5 million. The 2020 figure ranges from net savings of between $2.04 billion and $5.69 billion, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact numbers depend on discount rates and other assumptions.
- Agencies have published 16 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2020, with none in the last week. This is on pace for 41 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
- In 2021, 230 new rules affect small businesses. Five are classified as significant. 2020’s totals were 668 rules affecting small businesses, 26 of them significant.
Highlights from last week’s new regulations:
- Nationwide permits from the Engineering Corps.
- A vacatur for H-1B visas.
- Timekeeping requirements from the Legal Services Corporation.
- Analyzing effluent.
- New Guinea travel restrictions are being eased.
- The Environmental Protection Agency is scrapping some recent transparency improvements.
- A new Medicare rule for covering “innovative technology” is being delayed.
- Revised safety standards about children’s folding chairs and stools.
- Sanctions related to narcotics. Maybe that is what will win the drug war.
- Loans to bank executives.
- A response to comments on new aluminum import monitoring regulations.
For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.