It was a short work week due to the July 4 holiday, but regulators still managed to publish 34 proposed regulations and more than 90 final regulations covering everything from cranberries to rules of acquisition.
On to the data:
- Last week, 91 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 64 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every one hour and 51 minutes.
- So far in 2015, 1,602 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of 3,071 new regulations this year, which would be several hundred fewer rules than the usual total of 3,154-plus.
- Last week, 1,478 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,343 pages the previous week.
- Currently at 38,258 pages, the 2015 Federal Register is on pace for 75,312 pages.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. Fourteen such rules have been published so far this year, one in the past week.
- The total estimated compliance cost of 2015’s economically significant regulations ranges from $1.14 billion to $1.22 billion for the current year.
- 133 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published so far this year.
- So far in 2015, 269 new rules affect small businesses; 40 of them are classified as significant.
Highlights from selected final rules published last week:
- A newly revised 75-page definition of “waters of the United States” is so broad we at CEI half-jokingly refer to it as “moistures of the United States.” The EPA apparently also has a sense of humor, arguing that “This rule establishing the definition of ‘waters of the United States,’ by itself, imposes no direct costs,” then declines to offer any cost estimates, direct or indirect.
- A liberalizing of beef imports from Brazil will cause a small harm to domestic beef producers, but will have huge benefits for consumers, to the economically significant tune of $358.36 million in net benefits. It is rare that diffuse, lobbyless consumers win out over a concentrated, politically connected group of producers, so this partial deregulation (importers will have to obey strict requirements) is worth celebrating. A similar, but smaller rule does the same for Argentina.
- Energy efficiency testing rules for ovens. And for packaged terminal air conditioners and heat pumps.
- 16 new rules of acquisition. Read them all here.
- The federal government has a Cranberry Marketing Board. Doing some basic math from the numbers on its homepage, the average cranberry worker makes more than $300,000 per year, so they hardly need government assistance. Even so, growers must report their sales history to the Board.
- Following the recent nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, the SEC is revising its in-house definitions of “marriage” and “spouse” to bring them up to speed. Other agencies will likely follow suit in the coming months.
- The Mount Charleston blue butterfly is the unwitting recipient of 5,214 acres of critical habitat in Nevada.