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Bureaucrats in the Obama administration added a record number of pages to the federal rule book in 2015, carrying out the president’s directives to work around Congress when necessary to push his big-government agenda on issues such as climate change.
In 2015, the administration added 81,611 pages to the Federal Register, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Clyde Wayne Crews, the highest total on record and the third time Obama has crossed the 80,000-page level during his presidency. Crews noted with the exception of President Ronald Reagan, who managed to limit the Federal Register to under 50,000 pages of new rules and regulations per year, the number of pages in recent years has generally been around 70,000. Under Obama it’s been averaging more like 80,000.
The administration proposed 2,334 rules and finalized 3,378 rules and regulations in 2015. Major rules issued by the administration in 2015 included a number aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions, such as the Clean Power Plan regulations on new and existing power plants, and new efficiency standards for commercial air conditioners.
About the administration’s regulatory onslaught Crews said, “[The] president has made clear he’s going to go around Congress when he gets the chance. Just the sheer volume, the size of the Federal Registry, has never been this high.”