CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

Just another week in the world of regulation:

  •  88 new final rules were published last week, up from 71 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 1 hour and 55 minutes — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • All in all, 2,949 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year.
  • If this keeps up, the total tally for 2012 will be 3,868 new rules.
  • 1519 new pages were added to the 2012 Federal Register last week, for a total of 61,135 pages.
  • At its current pace, the 2012 Federal Register will run 78,783 pages.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. The 40 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.
  • One economically significant rule was published last week.
  • So far, 296 final rules that meet the broader definition of “significant” have been published in 2012.
  • So far this year, 563 final rules affect small business. 83 of them are significant rules.

Highlights from final rules published last week:

  • Last week’s economically significant regulation only costs an estimated $5.232 to $6.832 million. That’s because, as an anti-bioterrorism regulation, its estimated benefits are automatically estimated in the billions of dollars, well exceeding the $100 million threshold for economic significance. As always, I have used the lower $5.232 million figure for this year’s running compliance cost tally.
  • If you want to volunteer for the federal government’s Senior Companions or Foster Grandparents programs, or for AmeriCorps, you will now have to undergo a “fingerprint-based FBI criminal history check.”
  • The federal government has an Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service Fund to help people with speech and hearing disabilities use telephones. A new rule published on Thursday aims to reduce the amount of fraud and abuse in the program.
  • If you are planning on fishing for silky sharks, read this new regulation first.
  • The Federal Energy Regulation Commission has revised page 700 of FERC Form No. 6.

For more data, go to TenThousandCommandments.com.


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