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Week in Regulation

$30 Billion in Regulatory Costs

Regulators pushed passed $30 billion for the year by adding more than $12.2 billion in costs this week. Annualized costs were $750 million, compared to $1.5 billion in benefits, and more than 7,100 paperwork burden hours. The Department of Energy’s (DOE) proposal on new efficiency standards for furnaces led the week.                       

Regulatory Toplines

  • New Proposed Rules: 39
  • New Final Rules: 60
  • 2015 Significant Documents: 131
  • 2015 Total Pages of Regulation: 13,478
  • 2015 Proposed Rules: $15.6 Billion
  • 2015 Final Rules: $15 Billion

AAF has catalogued regulations according to their codification in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The CFR is organized into 50 titles, with each title corresponding to an industry or part of government. This snapshot will help to determine which sectors of the economy receive the highest number of regulatory actions.

DOE published one of the largest regulations of the year, a standard for new furnaces that would impose total costs north of $12 billion. AAF reviewed the proposed rule here and found consumers can expect price hikes between 11 and 20 percent because of the regulation. DOE also admitted that small businesses would face conversion costs of 18 percent of total revenue, compared to just three percent for large businesses. As a result, DOE concedes that small entities “may reevaluate the cost-benefit of staying in the MHGF [mobile home gas furnaces] market.” In other words, for small businesses, it might be easier to shut down than comply with the new rule.

Affordable Care Act

Since passage, based on total lifetime costs of the regulations, the Affordable Care Act has imposed costs of $43.8 billion in state and private-sector burdens and 163.5 million annual paperwork hours.


Click here to view the total estimated revised costs from Dodd-Frank; since passage, the legislation has produced more than 63.9 million paperwork burden hours and imposed $33 billion in direct compliance costs. Based on calculations from the Financial Services Roundtable, Dodd-Frank regulations would require 31,990 employees to file federal paperwork.

A Note on Paperwork

This week federal agencies published 426 notices. The Office of Management and Budget approved 55 paperwork requirements, increasing the total paperwork burden by 1.8 million hours.

There was one major change in paperwork burdens, which is defined as an hourly burden increase or decrease of 500,000 hours or greater. The Food and Drug Administration added 1.5 million hours through additional paperwork, while the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services cut paperwork by approximately 470,000 hours.

Total Burdens

Since January 1, the federal government has published $30.6 billion in compliance costs and has imposed 13.5 million in net paperwork burden hours. Click here for our comprehensive database of regulations and rulemakings promulgated in 2015.


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