This week in the world of regulation:
- In a Hurricane Sandy-shortened work week, 60 new final rules were published, down from 77 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 48 minutes — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- All in all, 3,195 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year.
- If this keeps up, the total tally for 2012 will be 3,809 new rules.
- Last week, 901 new pages were added to the 2012 Federal Register, for a total of 66,257 pages.
- At its current pace, the 2012 Federal Register will run 78,504 pages.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. The 42 such rules published so far in 2012 have compliance costs of at least $23.9 billion. Two of the rules do not have cost estimates, and a third cost estimate does not give a total annual cost. We assume that rules lacking this basic transparency measure cost the bare minimum of $100 million per year. The true cost is almost certainly higher.
- One economically significant rule was published last week.
- So far, 307 final rules that meet the broader definition of “significant” have been published in 2012.
- So far this year, exactly 600 final rules affect small business; 85 of them are significant rules.
Highlights from final rules published last week:
- In last week’s economically significant rule, the Education Department revised its Perkins and Ford loan programs to be more favorable to students. This is expected to increase federal spending by $2.1 billion annually from 2012 to 2021. Since the rule has a negligible impact on compliance costs, we are scoring it as zero cost on our running compliance cost tally.
- The Fish and Wildlife Service is allowing seven states to take over falconry permitting within their borders from the federal government. I have written previously on federal falconry policy here.
- The EPA issued a correction to an earlier rule involving aircraft engine emissions.
- The Energy Department issued new energy efficiency test procedures for dishwashers and dehumidifiers.
- The State Department has repealed all of its marriage regulations. Among other things, consular officials may now conduct marriages, as well as serve as witnesses.
For more data, go to TenThousandCommandments.com.