Category Archives: regulation

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

The economic recovery continues, but Congress is still intent on passing unneeded stimulus and infrastructure spending. Inflation is also up, and five antitrust bills are being introduced. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from madtoms to low-fat yogurt.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 65 final regulations last week, after 54 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 35 minutes.
  • With 1,401 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,155 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,149 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 27 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 32 the previous week.
  • With 931 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,119 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 328 notices last week, after 299 notices the previous week.
  • With 9,724 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 21,901 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,050 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 956 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 284 pages.
  • With 31,426 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 70,779 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 two such rules so far in 2021, none 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 net savings of $100.7 million to net costs of $362.5 million. 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 19 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2021, with two in the last week. This is on pace for 40 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 293 new rules affect small businesses. Six 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.

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Unemployment is back under 6 percent, and it’s looking more and more like the economy is reverting back to trend. We’re not there yet, but the trajectory is good. The good news is that a lot of planned stimulus and infrastructure spending is now clearly unnecessary. The bad news is that Congress will likely spend the money anyway. President Biden’s proposed $6 trillion budget will not become law, but it will serve as a starting point. The 2021 Federal Register also topped 30,000 pages on Friday. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from water testing to authenticating calls.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 54 final regulations last week, after 62 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 7 minutes.
  • With 1,314 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,099 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,149 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 32 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 36 the previous week.
  • With 904 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,132 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 297 notices last week, after 467 notices the previous week.
  • With 9,318 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 21,976 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 956 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,373 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 284 pages.
  • With 30,065 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 70,908 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 two such rules so far in 2021, none 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 net savings of $100.7 million to net costs of $362.5 million. 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 17 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2020, with none in the last week. This is on pace for 40 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 257 new rules affect small businesses. Five 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.

Facebook’s Content Moderation Decisions Preferable to One-Size-Fits-All Government Regulation

This news release was originally posted on cei.org.

Facebook announced today it suspended former President Donald Trump from the platform for two years retroactive to January 7, 2021. Responding to a ruling against the former president’s indefinite suspension from its own Oversight Board, the social network also laid out policies for how it would treat content moderation of posts by public officials.

Director of CEI’s Center for Technology and Innovation Jessica Melugin said:

“People who value freedom of speech should be encouraged a private entity like Facebook is attempting to deal with thorny issues about what is and is not permissible speech on their own, without heavy-handed and rigid government regulation. Facebook is under pressure from both sides of the ideological spectrum to enact very different policies toward content moderation and are faced with novel challenges presented by the billions of user-generated post shared on their platform daily. No decision will make everyone happy.

“While it is curious Facebook chose to respond to the Oversight Board’s decision five months early, dealing with these issues without government coercion will allow Facebook to institute policies in line with its own values while not imposing their own content moderation standards on other platforms, as would happen with a one-size-fits-all federal regulatory approach.

“The former president might be suspended from Facebook for two years, but that is not the same as being ‘censored’ or ‘silenced.’ He is still free to make public statements, appear on television and radio, hold rallies, or join other social networks. The government compelling Facebook to carry speech with which it disagrees would be the real threat to free speech.

“Facebook has every right to curate their product as they choose, just as consumers have every right to use a different social media platform with content moderation and community standards more in line with their own.”

CEI senior fellow Ryan Young said:

“What is the right way to deal with malicious, incendiary, or fake content? Nobody knows—and that’s the point. Facebook doesn’t know. President Trump doesn’t know. Nor do Republicans and Democrats in Congress. We are in the middle of a discovery process right now. Maybe Facebook made the right call to ban President Trump from its platforms for two years after his remarks about the January 6 Capitol riots. Maybe they didn’t. Not only does nobody have the correct answer, there likely isn’t a single correct answer.

“What we need is an ongoing process of trial and error, where individuals and companies discover which norms, institutions, and policies will help to slow the spread of misinformation on social media while giving people space to express themselves. Washington is not the place to look to for leadership here. People are already coming up with multiple competing approaches to content moderation. As people try them out, tinker with them, discard them, or improve them, the results will be far better than whatever uniform, politically motivated policy Congress would write down in stone.”

Next week, CEI is holding a book forum for Jonathan Rauch’s “The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth.” Join us on Wednesday, June 9 at 12:00pm ET. RSVP here.

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

The Endless Frontiers Act remains the big story in Congress. After an 850-page trade was added via amendment in the Senate, the bill has been delayed until June 8, after the Memorial Day recess. The 2021 Federal Register will likely pass 30,000 pages next week. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from collective investment funds to mammalian seabird research casualties.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 62 final regulations last week, after 62 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 42 minutes.
  • With 1,260 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,088 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,149 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 36 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 29 the previous week.
  • With 872 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,137 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 467 notices last week, after 421 notices the previous week.
  • With 9,019 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 22,105 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,373 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,164 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 286 pages.
  • With 29,171 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 71,498 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 two such rules so far in 2021, none 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 net savings of $100.7 million to net costs of $362.5 million. 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 16 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2020, with none in the last week. This is on pace for 39 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 241 new rules affect small businesses. Five 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.

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

CEI’s Wayne Crews looked at the Biden administration’s dismantling transparency reforms for guidance documents and warned that political spending on scientific research would become political. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from effluent analysis to bank executive loans.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 62 final regulations last week, after 60 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 42 minutes.
  • With 1,198 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,088 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,149 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 29 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 48 the previous week.
  • With 836 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,155 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 421 notices last week, after 408 notices the previous week.
  • With 8,552 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 22,041 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,164 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,933 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 287 pages.
  • With 27,796 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 71,369 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 two such rules so far in 2021, none 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 net savings of $100.7 million to net costs of $362.5 million. 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 16 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2020, with none in the last week. This is on pace for 41 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 230 new rules affect small businesses. Five 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.

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

The best news of the week was the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advising that vaccinated people can safely go mask-free pretty much anywhere. Inflation is likely creeping upwards, due to monetary policy decisions and rapid spending increases. While it won’t return to Carter-era levels, an extra percentage point or two of inflation would slow down the COVID recovery. A hacked pipeline led to a gas shortage on the east coast and predictable calls for price gouging legislation. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from solar-powered airports to triangle pigtoe.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 60 final regulations last week, after 55 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 48 minutes.
  • With 1,145 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,111 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,149 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 48 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 35 the previous week.
  • With 798 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,168 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 408 notices last week, after 534 notices the previous week.
  • With 8,131 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 22,095 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,933 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,458 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 289 pages.
  • With 26,631 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 72,367 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 two such rules so far in 2021, none 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 net savings of $100.7 million to net costs of $362.5 million. 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 16 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2020, with none in the past week. This is on pace for 43 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 216 new rules affect small businesses. Five 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.

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

The Facebook Oversight Board conditionally upheld former President Trump’s Facebook ban. Many Republican responses showed that they either do not understand the First Amendment or do not like its opening words, “Congress shall make no law.” Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from promoting concrete masonry to wood furniture emissions.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 55 final regulations last week, after 60 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and three minutes.
  • With 1,085 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,118 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,149 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 35 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 28 the previous week.
  • With 750 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,155 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 534 notices last week, after 437 notices the previous week.
  • With 7,723 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 22,193 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,458 new pages were added to the Federal Register in a three-day week, after 1,318 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 284 pages.
  • With 24,695 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 70,963 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 two such rules so far in 2021, none 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 net savings of $100.7 million to net costs of $362.5 million. 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 16 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2020, with none in the last week. This is on pace for 46 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 207 new rules affect small businesses. Five 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.

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

The economy bounced back in a big way, according to numbers released on Thursday. Things are not quite back where they were, but the trend is clear. As the virus retreats, the economy advances. This renders moot most of the plans President Biden outlined in his joint address to Congress on Wednesday. New regulations on the year also passed the 1,000 mark last week. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from underwater cables to tipping.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 60 final regulations last week, after 65 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 48 minutes.
  • With 1,030 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,140 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,149 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 28 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 47 the previous week.
  • With 715 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,180 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 437 notices last week, after 507 notices the previous week.
  • With 7,189 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 21,918 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,318 new pages were added to the Federal Register in a three-day week, after 1,664 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 284 pages.
  • With 23,235 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 70,838 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 two such rules so far in 2021, none 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 net savings of $100.7 million to net costs of $362.5 million. 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 15 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2020, with none in the last week. This is on pace for 46 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 199 new rules affect small businesses. Four 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.

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

The big news of the week was the guilty verdicts in the Derek Chauvin murder trial. Senate Republicans continued their longtime strategy of bargaining with themselves by proposing $568 billion in infrastructure spending. This would leave Democrats free to use the reconciliation process on the remaining $1.4 trillion or so from their spending proposal without worrying about sacrificing any of the GOP bill’s projects in negotiations. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from parachutes to halibut sharing.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 65 final regulations last week, after 22 the previous week.
  • That is the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 35 minutes.
  • With 970 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,142 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,149 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 47 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 39 the previous week.
  • With 687 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,231 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 507 notices last week, after 350 notices the previous week.
  • With 6,752 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 21,922 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,664 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,122 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 285 pages.
  • With 21,915 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 71,153 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 two such rules so far in 2021, none 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 net savings of $100.7 million to net costs of $362.5 million. 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 15 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2020, with one in the last week. This is on pace for 48 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 190 new rules affect small businesses. Four 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.

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Congress played a round of good idea-bad idea last week. Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) introduced a bill for a regulatory budget, similar to the spending budget Congress is supposed to authorize each year, while Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced antitrust legislation to overturn the notion of innocent until proven guilty for companies he doesn’t like. The 2021 Federal Register surpassed 20,000 pages, and is on pace for just more than 70,000 pages. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from helicopters to bankruptcy.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 22 final regulations last week, after 52 the previous week.
  • That is the equivalent of a new regulation every seven hours and 38 minutes.
  • With 905 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,142 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,327 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 39 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 29 the previous week.
  • With 640 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,222 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 350 notices last week, after 309 notices the previous week.
  • With 6,245 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 21,684 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,122 new pages were added to the Federal Register in a three-day week, after 1,205 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 281 pages.
  • With 20,248 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 70,306 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 two such rules so far in 2021, none from 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 net savings of $100.7 million to net costs of $362.5 million. 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 14 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2020, with one in the past week. This is on pace for 49 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 173 new rules affect small businesses. Four 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.