This Week in Ridiculous Regulations
The 2023 Federal Register topped 10,000 pages on February 16. Inflation remained high, but is still below its peak. FTC Commissioner Christine Wilson resigned in protest over the agency’s recent power grabs. The GOOD Act, a regulatory oversight bill, was recently reintroduced in Congress. Meanwhile, agencies issued new regulations ranging from buying real estate to fluorescent lamp energy.
On to the data:
- Agencies issued 59 final regulations last week, after 65 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 51 minutes.
- With 392 final regulations so far in 2023, agencies are on pace to issue 2,970 final regulations this year.
- For comparison, there were 3,168 new final regulations in 2022, and 3,257 new final regulations in 2021.
- Agencies issued 34 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 34 the previous week.
- With 262 proposed regulations so far in 2023, agencies are on pace to issue 1,985 proposed regulations this year.
- For comparison, there were 2,044 new proposed regulations in 2022, and 2,094 in 2021.
- Agencies published 448 notices last week, after 460 notices the previous week.
- With 2,915 notices so far in 2023, agencies are on pace to issue 22,083 notices this year.
- For comparison, there were 22,505 notices in 2022, and 20,018 in 2021.
- Last week, 1,355 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,544 pages the previous week.
- The average Federal Register issue in 2023 contains 317 pages.
- With 10,448 pages so far, the 2023 Federal Register is on pace for 79,152 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 five such rules so far in 2023, none in the last week.
- This is on pace for 38 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 ranges from $55.64 billion to $78.51 billion, according to numbers provided by the agencies themselves.
- For comparison, the running cost tally for 2022’s economically significant rules ranges from 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 two regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant” last week, after none the previous week.
- So far this year, there are 27 new regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant.” This is on pace for 205 significant regulations in 2023.
- For comparison, there were 255 such new regulations in 2022, and 387 in 2021.
- So far in 2023, 91 new regulations affect small businesses, on pace for 689. Six of them are significant, on pace for 45.
- 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 Small Business Administration is enlarging its definition of “small business” in order to make more businesses eligible for subsidies.
- Accelerated payments to certain government contractors who qualify as small businesses.
- HUD has inflation-adjusted its civil penalties.
- So has the Ocean Energy Management Bureau.
- Russian sanctions.
- Global terrorism sanctions.
- Two rules for Venezuelan sanctions.
- Procedures for terminating supplier contracts with the Coast Guard.
- New limits for gas pipeline projects.
- The Postal Service is removing certain Priority Mail International Regional Rate boxes.
- Sanctuary regulations for Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.
- Implementing the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act.
- Connection assemblies for nuclear plants.
- Cyber security for nuclear reactors.
- Energy conservation standards for fluorescent lamps.
- Energy conservation standards for packaged terminal air conditioners and heat pumps.
- Comparison shopping for real estate.
- Macy’s July 4th fireworks show.
- Technical amendments to navigable waters regulations from the Coast Guard.
- Rules for reporting service performance from the Postal Service.
- Air plan approval for “innovative clean transit” in California.
The size of For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.