This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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The James Webb Space Telescope sent back its first images, and they are amazing. The Consumer Price Index increased 9.1 percent over the last year, setting another 40-year high. Meanwhile, agencies issued new regulations ranging from rationalizing crabs to swimming with dolphins.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 72 final regulations last week, after 47 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 20 minutes.
  • With 1,704 final regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 3,156 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 393 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 23 the previous week.
  • With 1147 proposed regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 2,124 proposed regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 2,094 new proposed regulations in 2021 and 2,094 in 2020.
  • Agencies published 342 notices last week, after 460 notices the previous week.
  • With 12,083 notices so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 22,376 notices this year.
  • For comparison, there were 20,018 notices in 2021. 2020’s total was 22,458.
  • Last week, 1,605 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,291 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue in 2022 contains 318 pages.
  • With 42,632 pages so far, the 2022 Federal Register is on pace for 78,948 pages.
  • For comparison, the 2021 Federal Register totals 74,352 pages; 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 19 such rules so far in 2021, none from the last week.
  • This is on pace for 35 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 is for net savings of $11.56 billion to $20.51 billion, according to numbers provided by the agencies themselves. However, this figure is incomplete. Three economically significant rules issued this year do not give the required cost estimates.
  • For comparison, the running cost tally for 2021’s economically significant rules is for net costs of $13.54 billion to $19.36 billion. The 2020 figure is for net savings of $2.04 billion to $5.69 billion, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact numbers depend on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • There are 136 new regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far in 2022. That is on pace for 252 significant rules for the year.
  • For comparison, there were 387 such new regulations in 2021, and 79 in 2020.
  • So far in 2022, 478 new regulations affect small businesses, on pace for 885. Thirty-seven of them are significant, on pace for 69.
  • 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.