This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Third quarter GDP growth was an estimated at 2 percent, down from about 6 percent the previous two quarters. The 2021 Federal Register topped 60,000 pages with two months left in the year. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from fan efficiency to motherships.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 58 final regulations last week, after 53 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 54 minutes.
  • With 2,687 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,245 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,218 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 61 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 36 the previous week.
  • With 1,743 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,105 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,222 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 418 notices last week, after 491 notices the previous week.
  • With 18,416 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 22,242 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,394 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,238 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 291 pages.
  • With 60,158 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 72,655 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 16 such rules so far in 2021, three 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 $4.61 billion to $8.40 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 344 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2021, with four in the last week. That is on pace for 415 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 734 new rules affect small businesses; 87 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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