Thanks for the comment. I actually considered writing about BC's carbon tax experience -- as well as other subnational examples like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in the Northeastern US and California's AB 32 -- but cut them for the sake of brevity, and focused only on national-level examples (my paper actually discusses the two subnational US examples however).
That said, I have followed BC's carbon tax experience over the years. At $30/ton, it's one of the few policies (the only one really) in North America to reach anything close to what economist's estimate as the social cost of carbon (although still on the low end of those estimates, which range from roughly $15-150/ton and rise over time).
Still, BC has extremely low carbon emissions from the electricity sector, which is dominated by hydropower, so the impact of BC's carbon tax per household is lower than in most other regions of North America. BC residents feel the impact mostly in gasoline costs, which have risen about 7 cents per liter. BC consumes about 4.5 billion liters of transportation fuel per year,
or about 975 liters per year per resident. So that's only on the order of $70 per person per year in higher fuel costs. Assuming transportation fuel cost increases represent two-thirds of the total impact on household costs, BC's apparent household WTP for climate policy is probably still right within (or at least not far off) the $80-200 per household per year range evident in the United States (as described in my paper). And that's before
considering that BC's carbon tax includes a significant tax shift (cuts to personal and business tax income rates) to offset the initial cost increases due to the carbon tax. That's a very quick back of the envelope estimate, but I doubt I'm off by anything close to an order of magnitude. Thus, it looks to me that while BC's policy achieves a higher carbon price than in other jurisdictions, the political economy constraints there are no less stringent than elsewhere in North America. Total household initial costs are fairly low still, and that's likely critical to the political sustainability of BC's carbon tax policy.
So you point to BC as the model for everwhere else. I'm not so sure. If you tried to implement the BC tax shift approach elsewhere, in regions with a higher carbon footprint per household, you'd wind up with a much lower and thus less effective carbon tax. And if you spend all of your revenues on tax rebates instead of investing in clean energy R&D and additional abatement, you will accomplish little else. There are of course other subnational examples to keep an eye on. RGGI has seen substantial cuts (on the order of 40%) to electricity sector CO2 in the Northeast, although most of that is likely due to the ongoing shift from coal (and oil) to gas-fired plants in the region. That said, RGGI's modest (just about $3/ton CO2) and politically sustained carbon price has also raised billions in revenues across the region that have been directed to energy efficiency programs, clean energy RD&D programs at places like NYSERDA and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, and other mitigation efforts. California is considering similar uses for the revenues generated by its AB32 cap and trade program, which took effect in 2012. Your comment also raises three great questions for further research. I don't have a direct response for those here, but suffice to say, those are all important considerations. For now, I'll just focus the conversation on the BC experience and what we can learn there. I personally see another example of a politically constrained carbon price, and not necessarily a model for widespread replication elsewhere...