This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet was sunk. Baseball season began, marking the unofficial start of spring. Agencies issued new regulations ranging from Potato Board membership to pesticide performance.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 68 final regulations last week, after 68 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 28 minutes.
  • With 930 final regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 3,168 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 45 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 45 the previous week.
  • With 659 proposed regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 2,257 proposed regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 2,094 new proposed regulations in 2021, and 2,094 in 2020.
  • Agencies published 432 notices last week, after 502 notices the previous week.
  • With 6,571 notices so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 22,503 notices this year.
  • For comparison, there were 20,018 notices in 2021. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,809 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,419 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue in 2022 contains 312 pages.
  • With 22,809 pages so far, the 2022 Federal Register is on pace for 77,199 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 10 such rules so far in 2021, one from the past week.
  • That is on pace for 34 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 $1.14 billion to $3.74 billion. 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 net costs of $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 72 new regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far in 2022. This is on pace for 247 significant rules for the year.
  • For comparison, there were 387 such new regulations in 2021 and 79 in 2020.
  • So far in 2022, 256 new regulations affect small businesses, on pace for 877. Twenty-six of them are significant, on pace for 89.
  • 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.