This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Photo Credit: Getty

The tide is slowly turning in Ukraine, though Europe’s biggest war since World War II continued. Meanwhile, conservative culture warriors declared “moral war against Disney” and Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) showed off his fluency in drug slang. Agencies issued new regulations ranging from self-driving car safety to product reviews.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 57 final regulations last week, after 52 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and four minutes.
  • With 794 final regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 3,151 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 50 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 66 the previous week.
  • With 564 proposed regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 2,238 proposed regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 2,094 new proposed regulations in 2021 and 2,102 in 2020.
  • Agencies published 459 notices last week, after 454 notices the previous week.
  • With 5,637 notices so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 22,369 notices this year.
  • For comparison, there were 20,018 notices in 2021. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 2,253 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,300 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue in 2022 contains 307 pages.
  • With 19,365 pages so far, the 2022 Federal Register is on pace for 76,845 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 seven such rules so far in 2021, four from the last week.
  • This is on pace for 28 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 ranges from net savings of $263.1 million to net costs of $522.9 million. However, this figure is incomplete. Not all such rules issued this year give 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 64 new regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far in 2022. This is on pace for 254 significant rules for the year.
  • For comparison, there were 387 such new regulations in 2021, and 79 in 2020.
  • So far in 2022, 222 new regulations affect small businesses, on pace for 881. Twenty-five of them are significant, on pace for 99.
  • 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.