The end of the Keystone will:*
- NOT keep Canadian tar sands from being produced
- NOT reduce the number of trains carrying crude with far more risk of accident
- NOT reduce American (or world) energy consumption
- NOT "fix" the climate change problem"**
The best way to do this is via a carbon tax. The easiest way to do this is by raising the gasoline tax from its incredibly low level of $0.49/gallon ($0.13 liter -- it's $0.77/liter in the Netherlands) to merely $1/gallon.***
What do you get with doubling the tax?
- Lower gasoline use (probably 5% lower, given the tax's small share of total price and 0.3 short term price elasticity) and thus CO2 emissions
- More money to pay for road maintenance (this article says they need to "double funding"), releasing general tax revenue for other uses.
* Coyote suggests a "hack" to allow a "Keystone-equivalent." It may happen.
** I am hoping that delegates at the upcoming Paris meetings commit to reducing GHG emissions via national -- NOT international -- regimes that can be implemented and enforced under domestic laws. The most promising regime is a carbon tax, because it raises revenues. Cap and trade is lovely on paper but usually a practical failure in implementation (e.g., too many free permits in the ETS). A shift of rhetoric, from "limits on economic activity" to "taxing harm", might get more political support.
*** Even easier, in countries that SUBSIDIZE fuel use, is to remove subsidies.