This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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The Endless Frontiers Act remains the big story in Congress. After an 850-page trade was added via amendment in the Senate, the bill has been delayed until June 8, after the Memorial Day recess. The 2021 Federal Register will likely pass 30,000 pages next week. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from collective investment funds to mammalian seabird research casualties.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 62 final regulations last week, after 62 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 42 minutes.
  • With 1,260 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 36 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 29 the previous week.
  • With 872 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,137 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 467 notices last week, after 421 notices the previous week.
  • With 9,019 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 22,105 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,373 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,164 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 286 pages.
  • With 29,171 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 71,498 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 39 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 241 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:

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