This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

The Facebook Oversight Board conditionally upheld former President Trump’s Facebook ban. Many Republican responses showed that they either do not understand the First Amendment or do not like its opening words, “Congress shall make no law.” Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from promoting concrete masonry to wood furniture emissions.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 55 final regulations last week, after 60 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and three minutes.
  • With 1,085 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,118 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,149 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 35 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 28 the previous week.
  • With 750 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,155 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 534 notices last week, after 437 notices the previous week.
  • With 7,723 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 22,193 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,458 new pages were added to the Federal Register in a three-day week, after 1,318 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 284 pages.
  • With 24,695 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 70,963 pages in 2021. The 2020 total was 87,352 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (subtracting skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set in 2016.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. There are two such rules so far in 2021, none from the last week. Agencies published five economically significant rules in 2020, and four in 2019.
  • The running cost tally for 2021’s economically significant rules ranges from net savings of $100.7 million to net costs of $362.5 million. The 2020 figure ranges from net savings of between $2.04 billion and $5.69 billion, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact numbers depend on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published 16 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2020, with none in the last week. This is on pace for 46 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 207 new rules affect small businesses. Five are classified as significant. 2020’s totals were 668 rules affecting small businesses, 26 of them significant.

Highlights from last week’s new regulations:

For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.

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