I-732 Opponents Discount Success of BC Carbon Tax to Discourage I-732 Support

I-732 opponents are using targeted data points to spin a tale that the BC carbon tax is not working as advertised. The truth is it is working better than most econometric models anticipated it would. BC’s carbon tax swap is a model policy for the world.

Opponents are also trying to discount BC’s carbon tax success in an effort to dissuade support for I-732

  • Environment Canada Data shows from 2008-2014 total economy wide quantitative GHG emissions in BC have decreased by 2.6%.
  • Total quantitative emissions in the rest of Canada excluding BC & Quebec have decreased by .5% over the same six years. Both BC & Quebec have pricing mechanisms.
  • BC is a success story. It has outperformed econometric modeling expectations like CTAM.
  • Opponents argue 2.6% is not enough reductions and thus I-732 shouldn’t be passed.
  • Perfect is most certainly the enemy of the good, or really good in this case.
  • I-732 is a more powerful pricing mechanism than British Columbia.
      • The BC carbon price started at $5/ton and increased $5/year until reaching a cap of $30/ton in 2013.
      • I-732 starts at $15/ton rises to $25/ton in year two then increases by 3.5% + inflation until reaching a cap of $100/ton in 2059

  • Single quantitative data points can’t be used to measure the success of a carbon policy.
      • Counterfactual studies are required or well-designed metrics.
      • Population growth, inflation, changes in the electric sector, recessions, changes in industrial output, resource discoveries all influence quantitative emissions.
      • The measure of a policies success is the quantity that would be emitted if it did vs. if it did not exists with all other elements remaining the same.

  • Two of the best metrics to create a counterfactual analysis is per capita impacts from vehicles and buildings which exist fairly uniformly in most jurisdictions.
      • Per capita normalizes population deviations.
      • The buildings and vehicle focus helps normalizes industrial sector, resource discovery and electric sector deviations.
      • Cross jurisdiction comparison normalizes recession impacts.

  • Environment Canada Data shows per capita GHG emissions caused by buildings in BC decreased by 6.9% relative to the rest of Canada between 2008-2014.

The World Bank reports per capita petroleum consumption in BC decreased 19.1% compared to the rest of Canada between 2008-2013

British Columbia’s Carbon Tax Swap is a huge success. Passing I-732 in Washington State will be an even bigger success.

Washington State can do it by voting Yes on I-732 on November 8th, 2016.