This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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GDP shrank, the Federal Reserve increased the federal funds rate, the Senate passed the CHIPS+ Act to subsidize chipmakers, and the Build Back Better spending bill is back from the dead, now renamed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Meanwhile, agencies issued new regulations ranging from organic emissions to boat repairs.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 42 final regulations last week, after 44 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every four hours.
  • With 1,790 final regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 3,086 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 48 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 41 the previous week.
  • With 1,236 proposed regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 2,131 proposed regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 2,094 new proposed regulations in 2021, and 2,094 in 2020.
  • Agencies published 445 notices last week, after 342 notices the previous week.
  • With 13,016 notices so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 22,441 notices this year.
  • For comparison, there were 20,018 notices in 2021. 2020’s total was 22,458.
  • Last week, 2,895 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,350 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue in 2022 contains 323 pages.
  • With 46,879 pages so far, the 2022 Federal Register is on pace for 80,826 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 19 such rules so far in 2021, two from the last week.
  • This is on pace for 36 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 is for net savings of $12.48 billion to $19.59 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 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 147 new regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far in 2022. This is on pace for 253 significant rules for the year.
  • For comparison, there were 387 such new regulations in 2021, and 79 in 2020.
  • So far in 2022, 503 new regulations affect small businesses, on pace for 867. Thirty-eight of them are significant, on pace for 66.
  • 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.