This Week in Ridiculous Regulations
The Department of Justice filed another antitrust lawsuit against Google. GDP numbers for the final quarter of 2022 looked healthy. Meanwhile, agencies issued new regulations ranging from Post Office Box refunds to sea turtle observers.
On to the data:
- Agencies issued 46 final regulations last week, after 61 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 39 minutes.
- With 207 final regulations so far in 2023, agencies are on pace to issue 2,875 final regulations this year.
- For comparison, there were 3,168 new final regulations in 2022 and 3,257 in 2021.
- Agencies issued 38 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 31 the previous week.
- With 140 proposed regulations so far in 2023, agencies are on pace to issue 1,944 proposed regulations this year.
- For comparison, there were 2,044 new proposed regulations in 2022 and 2,094 in 2021.
- Agencies published 499 notices last week, after 372 notices the previous week.
- With 1,510 notices so far in 2023, agencies are on pace to issue 20,972 notices this year.
- For comparison, there were 22,505 notices in 2022 and 20,018 in 2021.
- Last week, 1,806 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,408 pages the previous week.
- The average Federal Register issue in 2023 contains 283 pages.
- With 5,719 pages so far, the 2023 Federal Register is on pace for 79,431 pages.
- For comparison, the 2022 Federal Register totals 80,756 pages, and 2021’s is 74,352 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 three such rules so far in 2023.
- That is on pace for 42 economically significant regulations in 2023.
- For comparison, there were 43 economically significant rules in 2022, and 26 in 2021.
- The total estimated cost of 2023’s economically significant regulations so far is for $54.86 billion to $78.09 billion, according to numbers provided by the agencies themselves.
- For comparison, the running cost tally for 2022’s economically significant rules is for net costs of $45.28 billion to $78.05 billion. In 2021 net costs ranged from $13.54 billion to $19.36 billion. The exact numbers depend on discount rates and other assumptions.
- There were six regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant” last week, after seven the previous week.
- So far this year, there are 19 new regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant.” That is on pace for 264 significant regulations in 2023.
- For comparison, there were 255 such new regulations in 2022 and 387 in 2021.
- So far in 2023, 38 new regulations affect small businesses, on pace for 528. Three of them are significant, on pace for 42.
- For comparison, in 2022 there were 912 rules affecting small businesses, 70 of them significant. 2021’s totals were 912 rules affecting small businesses, 101 of them significant.
Highlights from last week’s new regulations:
- The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation will spend about $82 billion.
- No more legal education requirements for patent lawyers.
- A delay in the northern long-eared bat’s pending endangered species status.
- And for two population segments of the lesser prairie-chicken.
- Adjustable interest rates.
- Implementing the HAVANA Act of 2021.
- Standards for physically inspecting real estate.
- Code of professional conduct for labor mediators.
- Refunds for Post Office Box fees.
- Malic acid tolerance exemption.
- Loan repayments for the National Institutes of Health.
- Five species living on San Clemente Island are being removed from the endangered species list.
- Requirements for sea turtle observers.
- The Merit Systems Protection Board is adjusting its civil penalties for inflation.
- So is the Corporation for National and Community Service.
- And the Personnel Management Office for its program fraud penalties.
- New air pollution standards for heavy-duty engines and vehicles.
- Deadlines for compensation for radiation exposure.
- Roadless area conservation.
The size of For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.