CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation


Just another week in the world of regulation:

  • 101 new final rules were published last week, up from 77 the previous week. That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every hour and 36 minutes — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All in all, 1,979 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year. If this keeps up, the total tally for 2012 will be 4,002 new rules.
  • 1,388 new pages were added to the 2012 Federal Register last week, for a total of 39,082 pages. At this pace, the 2012 Federal Register will run 77,544 pages.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. The 25 such rules published so far in 2012 have compliance costs of at least $14.5 billion. Two of the rules do not have cost estimates, and a third cost estimate does not give a total annual cost. We assume that rules lacking this basic transparency measure cost the bare minimum of $100 million per year. The true cost is almost certainly higher.
  • No economically significant rule was published last week. So far, 206 final rules that meet the broader definition of “significant” have been published in 2012.
  • So far this year, 364 final rules affect small businesses. 57 of them are significant rules.

Highlights from final rules published last week:

  • Under Coast Guard regulations, boats must meet a certain minimum size in order to help out with oil spill relief efforts.
  • The Agricultural Marketing Service allows non-organic pectin in organic food if the food producer doesn’t have access to organic pectin. Pectin is a powder made from citrus fruits.
  • If you employ child laborers, you should be aware that the federal government has amended its child labor regulations for “Occupations involving the operation of circular saws, band saws, guillotine shears, chain saws, reciprocating saws, wood chippers, and abrasive cutting discs.”
  • Want to import Dracaena plants from Costa Rica? Read this regulation first.
  • The federal tanning tax.

For more data, go to TenThousandCommandments.com.

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