This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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CEI hosted its annual Julian Simon dinner on Thursday. The Consumer Price Index gave a mixed picture of inflation. A railroad strike was averted at the last minute. Meanwhile, agencies issued new regulations ranging from minor animal use to St. Louis vehicle inspections.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 50 final regulations last week, after 75 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 22 minutes.
  • With 2,230 final regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 3,115 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 40 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 33 the previous week.
  • With 1,484 proposed regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 2,073 proposed regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 2,094 new proposed regulations in 2021, and 2,094 in 2020.
  • Agencies published 474 notices last week, after 475 notices the previous week.
  • With 16,002 notices so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 22,349 notices this year.
  • For comparison, there were 20,018 notices in 2021. 2020’s total was 22,458.
  • Last week, 1,450 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,383 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue in 2022 contains 319 pages.
  • With 57,135 pages so far, the 2022 Federal Register is on pace for 79,793 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 30 such rules so far in 2021, none from the last week.
  • That is on pace for 42 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 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 savings of $33.36 billion to $1.15 billion. The 2020 figure is for 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 184 new regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far in 2022. That is on pace for 257 significant rules for the year.
  • For comparison, there were 387 such new regulations in 2021 and 79 in 2020.
  • So far in 2022, 630 new regulations affect small businesses, on pace for 881. Fifty of them are significant, on pace for 70.
  • 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.