This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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The economic recovery continues, but Congress is still intent on passing unneeded stimulus and infrastructure spending. Inflation is also up, and five antitrust bills are being introduced. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from madtoms to low-fat yogurt.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 65 final regulations last week, after 54 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 35 minutes.
  • With 1,401 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,155 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,149 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 27 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 32 the previous week.
  • With 931 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,119 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 328 notices last week, after 299 notices the previous week.
  • With 9,724 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 21,901 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,050 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 956 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 284 pages.
  • With 31,426 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 70,779 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 19 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2021, with two in the last week. This is on pace for 40 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 293 new rules affect small businesses. Six 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.