This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Inflation remains high at over 5 percent, California’s governor will finish out his term after a recall attempt failed, and culture warriors got outraged at each other over a gala in New York. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from tobacco advertising to job titles.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 59 final regulations last week, after 59 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 51 minutes.
  • With 2,309 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,243 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,218 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 46 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 29 the previous week.
  • With 1,512 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,124 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 458 notices last week, after 354 notices the previous week.
  • With 15,661 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 21,996 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,231 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 931 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 293 pages.
  • With 52,069 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 73,131 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 10 such rules so far in 2021, one 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 $1.42 billion to $4.81 billion. 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 301 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2021, with three in the last week. This is on pace for 423 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 643 new rules affect small businesses; 80 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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