New Tools Track Regulatory Accumulation Daily

The Regdata US Regulation Tracker allows researchers and other interested parties to visually assess the quantity of regulation in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) on a daily basis. The tracker runs on the QuantGov platform, which quantifies regulation by counting the number of regulatory restrictions in the CFR (the words shall, must, may not, prohibited, and required). The tracker can display other attributes of regulations that the QuantGov platform identifies or quantifies, such as the levels of regulation targeting specific industries or the quantities produced by regulatory agencies at different points in time. Furthermore, the tracker can display multiple industry or agency regulatory restriction counts at the same time.

Executive Order 13771 was signed by President Trump on January 30, 2017. This order, also known as the “one in, two out” policy, directs agencies to modify or eliminate two existing regulations for each new regulation that they add. An influential executive order provides a great opportunity to use the Regdata US Regulation Tracker. The figure below is a screenshot of the tool with a dotted line showing the signing of EO 13771.

It is easy to see that the growth of regulation has decreased since the executive order was signed, but regulation as a whole is still accumulating.  Of course, it’s worth mentioning that some regulatory agencies are exempt from the requirements of EO 13771.

Using another dataset produced by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University called RegPulse, it is easy to pinpoint the individual agencies that may be behind this trend. The figure below shows the top five agencies with the largest regulatory reductions since January 30, 2017 when EO 13371 was signed.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has removed the most regulatory restrictions (2,106) from the CFR since EO 13771. Almost all of the FAA’s regulatory removal came from their Revision of Airworthiness Standards for Normal, Utility, Acrobatic, and Commuter Category Airplanes rule that was finalized on December 30, 2016 and went into effect on August 30, 2017. This rule was an overarching change to airworthiness standards and got rid of many outdated regulations.

Using the RegData US 3.1 Daily dataset, we are also able to identify the top five agencies that have added the most regulatory restrictions since EO 13771.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has added the most regulatory restrictions (1,166) since January 30, 2017. The RegData US Regulation Tracker shows the EPA’s steady addition of 1,166 restrictions since EO 13771 was signed.

According to the RegData US 3.1 Daily dataset and the RegData US Regulation Tracker, the net total of both added and removed restrictions since January 30, 2017 amounts to 5,976 added regulatory restrictions.