This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Inflation remained high at 8.3 percent and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell was confirmed to a second term. A baby formula shortage is exposing the vulnerabilities of the managed trade-style policies the last two administrations have pursued. Agencies issued new regulations ranging from fireworks to krill meal.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 67 final regulations last week, after 56 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 30 minutes.
  • With 1,146 final regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 3,081 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 32 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 42 the previous week.
  • With 800 proposed regulations so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 2,151 proposed regulations this year.
  • For comparison, there were 2,094 new proposed regulations in 2021 and 2,094 in 2020.
  • Agencies published 470 notices last week, after 394 notices the previous week.
  • With 8,365 notices so far in 2022, agencies are on pace to issue 22,487 notices this year.
  • For comparison, there were 20,018 notices in 2021. 2020’s total was 22,458.
  • Last week, 2,205 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,867 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue in 2022 contains 319 pages.
  • With 29,645 pages so far, the 2022 Federal Register is on pace for 79,691 pages.
  • For comparison, the 2021 Federal Register totals 74,352 pages, and 2020’s total 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 15 such rules so far in 2021, three from the last week.
  • This is on pace for 40 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 $8.42 billion to $32.73 billion. However, this figure is incomplete. Three economically significant rules issued this year do not give the required cost estimates.
  • For comparison, the running cost tally for 2021’s economically significant rules ranges from net costs of $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 91 new regulations meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far in 2022. This is on pace for 245 significant rules for the year.
  • For comparison, there were 387 such new regulations in 2021 and 79 in 2020.
  • So far in 2022, 318 new regulations affect small businesses, on pace for 855. Thirty of them are significant, on pace for 81.
  • 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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