This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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Putin continued his unprovoked war, and Ukrainians and their allies continued their heroic resistance. Inflation rose from 7.5 percent to 7.9 percent. Gas prices did not, in fact, reach a record high, as reported by many outlets that did not adjust for inflation; 2008’s record of $5.23 in today’s prices is safe as of this writing, and will hopefully remain that way. Meanwhile, agencies issued new regulations from windshield devices to viticultural areas.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 66 final regulations last week, after 71 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 32 minutes.
  • With 616 final regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 3,198 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 35 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 53 the previous week.
  • With 418 proposed regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 2,177 proposed regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 2,094 new proposed regulations in 2021, and 2,102 in 2020.
  • Agencies published 504 notices last week, after 452 notices the previous week.
  • With 4,311 notices so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 22,453 notices this year.
  • For comparison, there were 20,018 notices in 2021. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,585 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,628 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue in 2022 contains 292 pages.
  • With 14242 pages so far, the 2022 Federal Register is on pace for 73,656 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, none from the last week.
  • This is on pace for 15 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 46 new regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far in 2022. This is on pace for 240 significant rules for the year.
  • For comparison, there were 387 such new regulations in 2021, and 79 in 2020.
  • So far in 2022, 175 new regulations affect small businesses, on pace for 907. Sixteen of them are significant, on pace for 83.
  • For comparison, there were 912 rules in 2021 affecting 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.