CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation


Just another week in the world of regulation:

  • It was a short work week because of the July 4 holiday, but 71 new final rules were still published, down from 101 the previous week. That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 22 minutes — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All in all, 2,055 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year. If this keeps up, the total tally for 2012 will be 4,001 new rules.
  • 1,102 new pages were added to the 2012 Federal Register last week, for a total of 40,184 pages. At this pace, the 2012 Federal Register will run 77,277 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, 211 final rules that meet the broader definition of “significant” have been published in 2012.
  • So far this year, 376 final rules affect small businesses. 58 of them are significant rules.

Highlights from final rules published last week:

  • A new Navy Department rule exempts the USS Harry S. Truman from certain international regulations for preventing collisions at sea. So if you find yourself on a boat and you see the Truman, flee.
  • Sometimes, marriage is a federal matter. On July 7, Barbara Harder was married in Lake View, New York. The Coast Guard celebrated by publishing a regulation establishing a temporary safety zone in Lake Erie near where the celebratory fireworks show happened. CEI sends its best wishes to Barbara and her new spouse.
  • The Agricultural Marketing Service reduced the tax it levies on farmers who grow avocados from 37 cents per 55-pound bushel to 25 cents.
  • If you plan on fishing for Pacific cod in the Gulf of Alaska using jig gear, read this regulation.

For more data, go to TenThousandCommandments.com.

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