This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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The big regulatory news is a proposed loosening of fuel economy standards for cars. This will likely improve safety; lighter cars don’t hold up as well in crashes, and the government has admitted in court that its CAFE standards kill people. Better for people to find their own preferred tradeoffs between safety and other car features. Meanwhile, the number of new final regulations in 2018 will likely pass the 2,000 mark this week, with the newest entrants ranging from giving to charity to Sri Lankan tarantulas.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 60 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 55 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 48 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 1,959 final regulations in 2018. At that pace, there will be 3,265 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,236 regulations.
  • Last week, 1,844 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,643 pages the previous week.
  • The 2018 Federal Register totals 38,179 pages. It is on pace for 63,632 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (which subtracts 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. Three such rules have been published this year, none in the last week.
  • The running compliance cost tally for 2018’s economically significant regulations is $319.1 million.
  • Agencies have published 69 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • In 2018, 323 new rules affect small businesses; 16 of them are classified as significant. 

Highlights from selected final rules published last week:

For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.