This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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Inflation reached an annualized rate of 7.5 percent, with prices going up 0.6 percent just in January. This is highest reading in 40 years. Meanwhile, agencies issued new regulations ranging from powerline vegetation to natural gas containers.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 68 final regulations last week, after 62 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 28 minutes.
  • With 371 final regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 3,312 final regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 3,257 new final regulations in 2021, President Biden’s first year, and 3,218 in 2020, President Trump’s final year.
  • Agencies issued 44 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 75 the previous week.
  • With 251 proposed regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 2,259 proposed regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 2,094 new proposed regulations in 2021, and 2,102 in 2020.
  • Agencies published 442 notices last week, after 483 notices the previous week.
  • With 2,555 notices so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 22,813 notices this year.
  • For comparison, there were 20,018 notices in 2021. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,378 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,993 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue in 2022 contains 291 pages.
  • With 8,138 pages so far, the 2022 Federal Register is on pace for 72,661 pages.
  • For comparison, the 2021 Federal Register totals 74,352 pages, and 2020’s is 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 three such rules so far in 2021, one from the last week.
  • This is on pace for 27 economically significant regulations in 2022.
  • For comparison, there were 26 economically significant rules in 2021, and five in 2020.
  • The total cost of 2022’s economically significant regulations so far is $187 million. However, only one of the three such rules issued this year gives the required cost estimates, so this figure is incomplete.
  • For comparison, the running cost tally for 2021’s economically significant rules ranges from $13.54 billion to $19.36 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.
  • There are 31 new regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far in 2022. This is on pace for 277 significant rules for the year.
  • For comparison, there were 387 such new regulations in 2021, and 79 in 2020.
  • So far in 2022, 111 new regulations affect small businesses, on pace for 991. Eleven of them are significant, on pace for 98.
  • For comparison, 912 new rules in 2021 affected small businesses, with 101 of them 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.