CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation


Just another week in the world of regulation:

  •  82 new final rules were published last week, up from 76 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 2 minutes — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • All in all, 2,790 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year.
  • If this keeps up, the total tally for 2012 will be 3,853 new rules.
  • 1,753 new pages were added to the 2012 Federal Register last week, for a total of 58,648 pages.
  • At its current pace, the 2012 Federal Register will run 79,685 pages.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. The 39 such rules published so far in 2012 have compliance costs of at least $17.4 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.
  • 3 economically significant rules were published last week.
  • So far, 280 final rules that meet the broader definition of “significant” have been published in 2012.
  • So far this year, 535 final rules affect small business. 75 of them are significant rules.

Highlights from final rules published last week:

  • The Fish and Wildlife Service issued three more economically significant rules for migratory bird hunting. Using the same economic analysis from 2008 that the previous rules used, the first, second, and third rule each estimate $205 million to $270 million in consumer surplus, for a total of $615 to $810 million. But they say nary a word about compliance costs, so I’m scoring them as zero-cost in our running tally.
  • On October 22, new regulations for Indian casino games will take effect. The rules affect “minimum internal control standards for Class II gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act to provide comprehensive and updated standards for all aspects of Class II gaming.”  A separate rule sets minimum technical standards for class II gaming systems and equipment.
  • Bailouts have reached the world of fruit. If you own trees that caught plum pox, a new regulation from the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service might make you eligible for compensation.
  • If you were waiting for the September 19 expiration of import restrictions on archaeological material from Mali, I have bad news. They have been extended for five years.
  • The federal government maintains a National Priorities List. The EPA published a new rule on Tuesday updating it.
  • The next time you have to serve somebody a legal document, you just might be able to do it electronically.

For more data, go to TenThousandCommandments.com.

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