On to the data:
- Last week, 77 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register. There were 60 new final rules the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 11 minutes.
- So far in 2014, 1,089 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of 3,203 new regulations this year. This would be the lowest total in decades; this will likely change as the year goes on.
- Last week, 2,224 new pages were added to the Federal Register.
- Currently at 25,453 pages, the 2014 Federal Register is on pace for 74,862 pages, which would be the lowest total since 2009.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. 15 such rules have been published so far this year, three of them in the past week.
- The total estimated compliance costs of 2014’s economically significant regulations currently ranges from $1.77 billion to $2.14 billion. They also affect several billion dollars of government spending.
- 88 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published so far this year.
- So far in 2014, 225 new rules affect small businesses; 32 of them are classified as significant.
Highlights from selected final rules published last week:
- The EPA issued a 474-page regulation setting new emissions standards for automobiles. They estimate the cost to be about $60 per vehicle, though the agency is coy about the number of vehicles it would affect, thus making a total cost estimate impossible. It could be $60 million per year (1 million vehicles), or it could be $600 million (10 million vehicles). My colleague William Yeatman tells me the rule is also expected to impose $2.53 billion in fuel costs annually. Since that figure isn’t government data, and the government data that is available is less than forthcoming, I am assigning this rule the bare minimum of $100 million necessary to meet its economically significant designation for our running compliance cost tally. I will gladly revise it if the EPA issues a transparent cost estimate.
- New rules for importing cape gooseberry fruit from Colombia.
- Another rule for preventing collisions at sea.
- Coal miners will now be required to wear continuous personal dust monitors.
- The IRS issued a correction for its health insurance reporting requirements.
- The FCC maintains political files on television stations. It recently expanded its reporting requirements.
- The Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog and the northern distinct population segment of the mountain yellow-legged frog are now endangered species. The same rule also lists the Yosemite toad as threatened.