This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, everyone. Inflation hit a 40-year high last week. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from French dressing freedom to windshield wipers for airplanes.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 79 final regulations last week, after 39 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and eight minutes.
  • With 118 final regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 2,950 final regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 3,257 new final regulations in 2021, President Biden’s first year, and 3,218 in 2020, President Trump’s final year.
  • Agencies issued 46 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 17 the previous week.
  • With 63 proposed regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 1,575 proposed regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 2,094 new proposed regulations in 2021 and 2,102 in 2020.
  • Agencies published 484 notices last week, after 283 notices the previous week.
  • With 767 notices so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 19,175 notices this year.
  • For comparison, there were 21,985 notices in 2021. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,459 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,059 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue in 2022 contains 252 pages.
  • With 2,522 pages so far, the 2022 Federal Register is on pace for 63,050 pages.
  • For comparison, the 2021 Federal Register totals 74,352 pages, and 2020’s is 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.
  • This is on pace for 50 economically significant regulations in 2022.
  • For comparison, there were 26 economically significant rules in 2021, and five in 2020.
  • Since neither of 2022’s economically significant regulations give the required cost estimate, we cannot yet provide a total estimate for their combined cost.
  • For comparison, the running cost tally for 2021’s economically significant rules ranges from $13.54 billion to $19.36 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.
  • There are 13 new regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far in 2022. This is on pace for 325 significant rules for the year.
  • For comparison, there were 387 such new regulations” in 2021, and 79 in 2020.
  • So far in 2022, 31 new regulations affect small businesses, on pace for 260. Five of them are significant, on pace for 125.
  • For comparison, 912 new rules in 2021 affected small businesses, with 101 of them 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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