This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

The Federal Reserve took another small step to tamping down inflation, and the latest jobs report had mixed news. Agencies issued new regulations ranging from fuel economy to utility poles.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 56 final regulations last week, after 36 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours.
  • With 1,079 final regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 3,065 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 42 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 36 the previous week.
  • With 768 proposed regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 2,182 proposed regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 2,094 new proposed regulations in 2021, and 2,094 in 2020.
  • Agencies published 394 notices last week, after 494 notices the previous week.
  • With 7,895 notices so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 22,429 notices this year.
  • For comparison, there were 20,018 notices in 2021. 2020’s total was 22,458.
  • Last week, 1,867 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,298 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue in 2022 contains 308 pages.
  • With 27,396 pages so far, the 2022 Federal Register is on pace for 77,830 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 12 such rules so far in 2021, two from the last week.
  • This is on pace for 37 economically significant regulations in 2022.
  • For comparison, there were 26 economically significant rules in 2021 and five in 2020.
  • The total cost of 2022’s economically significant regulations so far ranges from net savings of $1.92 billion to net savings of $25.30 billion. However, this figure is incomplete. Three economically significant rules issued this year do not give the required cost estimates.
  • For comparison, the running net 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 86 new regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far in 2022. This is on pace for 244 significant rules for the year.
  • For comparison, there were 387 such new regulations in 2021, and 79 in 2020.
  • So far in 2022, 300 new regulations affect small businesses, on pace for 852. Thirty of them are significant, on pace for 85.
  • For comparison, there were 912 rules in 2021 affecting 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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