This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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In a four-day week, the economy got mixed news on employment and inflation, a dubious new antitrust bill was announced, and William Shatner flew into space. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from timber telecom products to tomato committees.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 30 final regulations last week, after 77 the previous week.
  • That is the equivalent of a new regulation every five hours and 36 minutes.
  • With 2,576 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,269 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,218 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 27 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 37 the previous week.
  • With 1,646 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,088 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,222 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 379 notices last week, after 500 notices the previous week.
  • With 17,155 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 22,251 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 859 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 2,057 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 292 pages.
  • With 57,524 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 73,000 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 13 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 $2.77 billion to $6.61 billion. 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 335 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2021, with six in the last week. This is on pace for 431 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 703 new rules affect small businesses; 85 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.