Final Rule Data Explained

Editor’s Note:  A pdf of the Regulatory Studies Center’s complete article on number of federal rules published annually is attached below.

From: The George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center

 By Kathryn Vesey, Research Associate  

The GW Regulatory Studies Center has pulled together data on the number of final rules issued annually by the federal government. These figures include all regulations subject to review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). Therefore, these statistics only account for “significant regulatory actions” promulgated by federal agencies under the Executive Branch. Regulations issued by independent regulatory agencies, as well as all regulatory actions deemed not significant, are excluded from the data.  

Comparison of Final Rules with Monetized Benefits and Costs

Richard Williams/Mercatus Center at George Mason University

It is a commonplace to hear presidents and OMB officials claim that the total benefits of regulations exceed their total costs. In this week’s chart, Mercatus Center policy director Richard Williams highlights the disparity between the total number of rules and the number of rules with monetized benefits and costs in order to demonstrate that such claims simply cannot be validated.

A Call for Haste in Rulemakings

Editor’s Note:  The following article claims that OSHA rulemakings take too long and places some of the responsibility on OMB.  The author ignores OMB’s statutory and Presidential authority to ensure that all stakeholders are protected by the “good government” laws that regulate the regulators.   Also not discussed are the economic consequences of unjustified or ineffective regulations.  Of note, the author cites and links to a GAO report on OSHA rulemakings that makes no criticism at all of OMB’s role in the process.

From: In These Times

Why Does OSHA Move at a Glacial Pace? Democrat Calls on Obama Admin to Speed Up Safety Measures

The threat of substandard drugs

Editor’s Note:  OIRA should ensure that the FDA uses its regulatory authority to protect the public health from counterfeit versions of products under their jurisdiction.

From: AEI

In the past few months, fake cancer drugs have been found in clinics from California to Illinois. These fakes, which probably originated in China, were traded by numerous Middle Eastern and European traders, all of whom claimed they had no idea the products were fake. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating.

Professor Steinzor on Abolishing Centralized Regulatory Review

Professor Rena Steinzor,  a talented  and well respected member of the legal community and a member held in high regard  of the friendly opposition,  has published an article titled  “The Case for Abolishing Centralized White House Regulatory Review in the inaugural issue of Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law.

Hats off to the Professor for being the first author to state unequivocally that centralized regulatory review began in the Nixon Administration. Unlike other authors she did not say it was a modest effort or a pilot for the future but simply that that the Nixon White House was the first to  control the regulatory state by exercising OMB control over agency regulations.

Rulemaking ‘bottleneck’ is agency that enviros love to hate

Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter

Everybody, it seems, has a beef about the Obama administration’s rulemaking.

Republicans and industry have spent the last two years slamming what they see as the Obama EPA’s regulatory excess, and environmentalists and government watchdogs have groused about the administration’s timidity.

In the eye of the political hurricane: about 50 number crunchers from the Office of Management and Budget.

Ensconced in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next door to the White House, OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs vets rules written by the agencies under authority given by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980.

The Economics of EPA Regs — Do they help or hurt job formation?

Editor’s Note:  As noted below  analyses which consider the potential for regulations to create jobs need to distinguish between productive and unproductive work. An economy cannot be sustained by diverting scarce resources to “paper-pushing” and other unproductive, federally-mandated labor.

From: EnergyBiz

by Ken Silverstein

With the presidential election paring down to two candidates, the subject of environmental regulations and economic implications is building up. A new report by a non-partisan think tank is now forewarning the electorate to disregard the political rhetoric and to ask more critical questions.

Environmental Rules: Job Killers or Job Creators?

Editor’s Note:  Any Analysis which considers the potential for regulations to create jobs need to distinguish between productive and unproductive work.  An economy cannot be sustained by diverting scarce resources to “paper-pushing” and other unproductive, federally-mandated labor.

From: NYT


It is a rare day that you pick up a newspaper without encountering a reference to “job-killing regulations” from a pro-business Republican complaining about the burden of a new rule from the Environmental Protection Agency or other government office. Sometimes large and scary job loss numbers are attached to the assertion and attributed to a study, most often financed by the affected industry.

Regulations Govern Our Lives – Then Send Us The Bill

From: American Thinker

Richard Terrell’s cartoon (more a picture of reality) on March 25, 2012 about the maze of regulations thrown up by the Departments of Interior (DOI) and Energy (DOE), as well as by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), really describes the country in which we currently live.

Congress passes the laws that govern the U.S., but Congress has also authorized the EPA and other federal agencies to help put the laws into effect by creating and enforcing regulations. The list of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is quite long, encompassing every subject from infants to the aged, from drug abuse to health care. In this list are DOI, DOE, and EPA regulations.

Subjecting Cost-Benefit Analyses to the DQA

Editor’s Note:  The following article discussing the possibility of political influence on cost-benefit analysis highlights the need for greater rigor and transparency in cost-benefit analyses.  The authors’ goal of “making the process for generating and reviewing analyses as transparent as possible while insulating BCA from politics as much as is legally feasible” could be advanced by subjecting such analyses to the Data Quality Act’s Request for Correction process.

From: RegBlog

Appreciating the Politics Inside Benefit-Cost Analysis

Stuart Shapiro and John Morrall