This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Photo Credit: Getty

Ukraine continues to hold out against Putin’s unprovoked invasion. Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Jackson Brown had her Senate hearings. Meanwhile, agencies issued new regulations ranging from yogurt definitions to urinal energy use.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 52 final regulations last week, after 69 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and four minutes.
  • With 737 final regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 3,177 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 66 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 30 the previous week.
  • With 514 proposed regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 2,116 proposed regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 2,094 new proposed regulations in 2021 and 2,102 in 2020.
  • Agencies published 454 notices last week, after 413 notices the previous week.
  • With 5,178 notices so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 22,319 notices this year.
  • For comparison, there were 20,018 notices in 2021. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,300 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,693 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue in 2022 contains 296 pages.
  • With 17,137 pages so far, the 2022 Federal Register is on pace for 73,879 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 13 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, this figure is incomplete. Only one of the three such rules issued this year gives the required cost estimates.
  • 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 54 new regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far in 2022. This is on pace for 233 significant rules for the year.
  • For comparison, there were 387 such new regulations in 2021, and 79 in 2020.
  • So far in 2022, 212 new regulations affect small businesses, on pace for 939. Nineteen of them are significant, on pace for 82.
  • 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.