This month over at RegBlog they are celebrating their fifth birthday with a fifteen-part series on the last five years in regulation. (I’ll be contributing a piece later this month on developments regarding administrative law’s judicial deference doctrines.) [Update: The entire series and schedule can be found here.]
On RegBlog’s anniversary, I find myself wondering, how do you measure a year in the realm of regulation? Or, for that matter, five years?
Numbers themselves can be revealing. An electronic search of the government’s Federal Register yields exactly 13,750 final rules published from mid-April in 2011 to mid-April 2016. (Compare that to 723 new laws enacted by Congress from the beginning of 2011 to now.)
The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs reports data on a total of 46 major federal rules issued since 2011 that have monetized impact estimates. Together, these 46 rules have yielded estimated annual benefits of up to $351 billion (in 2010 dollars), with annual costs as large as $43 billion.
But just as Rent’s lyricist suggests that life is about more than 525,600 seconds, the meaning of regulation lies in more than just its numbers. Regulation matters for the individual lives it affects.
Definitely go digest the full introduction here. I look forward to reading the rest of the series over the next few weeks. RegBlog is such a terrific resource for policymakers, government officials, administrative law practitioners, and scholars, and I look forward to celebrating again its continued growth and success five years from now.