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This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

President Trump issued an Executive Order encouraging agencies to keep #NeverNeeded regulations waived during the coronavirus permanently off the books. CEI scholars responded to the news here and here. Meanwhile, regulatory agencies issued new final regulations ranging from detonators to retail concepts.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 60 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 47 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 48 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 1,215 final regulations in 2020. At that pace, there will be 3,038 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 2,964 regulations.
  • There were also 45 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, for a total of 886 on the year. At that pace, there will be 2,215 new proposed regulations in 2020. Last year’s total was 2,184 proposed regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 499 notices, for a total of 8,777 in 2020. At that pace, there will be 21,943 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,804.
  • Last week, 1,765 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 2,036 pages the previous week.
  • The 2020 Federal Register totals 31,356 pages. It is on pace for 78,390 pages. The 2019 total was 76,288 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. Four such rules were published in 2019.
  • The running cost tally for 2020’s economically significant regulations ranges from net savings of between $1.38 billion and $4.19 billion. 2019’s total ranges from net savings of $350 million to $650 million, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact number depends on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published 28 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2019’s total was 66 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2020, 247 new rules affect small businesses; 11 of them are classified as significant. 2019’s totals were 501 rules affecting small businesses, with 22 of them significant.

Highlights from last week’s new final regulations:

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