An environmental\/labor coalition, business groups, and the state Legislative Analyst\u2019s Office all fired salvos at the California Air Resources Board over the economic analysis underpinning its plan for carrying out the state\u2019s greenhouse gas reduction law, AB 32. They agreed that a \u201cgreen economy\u201d may be the future for California, but questioned whether the draft AB 32 plan--set for final Air Board approval next week--would achieve that goal. The Air Board addressed the Legislative Analyst\u2019s critique in a point-by-point statement, maintaining that the economic effect of its greenhouse gas reduction plan would still be positive for the state, even with the limitations of its own analysis. The board also pledged to continue to analyze the economics of greenhouse gas reduction measures as it carries out the plan. The controversy comes as the Air Board December 11 is set to approve its so-called \u201cscoping plan\u201d to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other major polluters under AB 32. The Apollo Alliance, a coalition of labor and environmental groups, is calling for significant changes in the draft plan due to economic concerns. \u201cCalifornia cannot afford to bypass the enormous opportunity for AB 32 implementation to try revitalize the state\u2019s ailing economy,\u201d Carla Din, Apollo Alliance western regional director, told the Air Board late last month. \u201cA robust green economy, however, will not come as a natural consequence of AB 32 implementation.\u201d She called on the Air Board to amend its plan to specifically target economic development by making sure that all emission rights under the plan\u2019s carbon cap-and- trade program are auctioned to raise revenue for green jobs and technology programs, particularly for low income communities. She also urged the state to consider eliminating sales tax on the purchase of manufacturing equipment needed to make clean energy technology. Business groups want changes too based on economic doubts about the plan. In a joint letter to the Air Board, the California Manufacturers and Technology Association and California Chamber of Commerce said that the economic analysis for the plan creates the impression that cutting emissions will be \u201cpainless and cost free\u201d as venture capital pours into the state to develop green technology. However, the groups warned that businesses and consumers stand to face significant costs under the plan--including higher electricity rates--and that without changes in state tax policy to favor investment in manufacturing \u201cit is more likely the new jobs will be located outside of the state.\u201d In a report released November 21, non-partisan state Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor said the economic analysis for the plan is riddled with \u201cweaknesses.\u201d Consequently, he said, \u201cit will be important for the Legislature to exercise oversight\u201d to make sure the Air Board carries out the plan \u201ccost-effectively and efficiently.\u201d The critiques target an Air Board economic study concluding the draft greenhouse gas reduction plan would by 2020 modestly boost state economic output by $27 billion a year and create 100,000 new jobs, many in the green technology sector (Circuit, Sept. 19, 2008). The following month, the Palo Alto-based public policy think tank Next 10 issued a separate report saying that by boosting energy efficiency and investment in renewable energy the plan could create as many as 403,000 new jobs by 2020. Taylor said the Air Board\u2019s economic conclusions lacked \u201crigor\u201d because the modeling behind them was not tested under varying assumptions. He criticized the Air Board\u2019s greenhouse gas reduction plan itself, saying that it\u2019s \u201cmix of measures appear not to have been directly influenced by cost-effectiveness considerations or macro-economic analysis.\u201d Taylor also pointed out that costs and benefits of individual measures in the plan were not consistently tallied in the Air Board\u2019s economic study. For instance, the costs and savings of the state\u2019s \u201cmillion solar roofs\u201d program were omitted even though its greenhouse gas reductions were counted in the plan. He criticized the plan too for failing to lay out a year-by-year \u201cinvestment pathway\u201d showing what spending will be needed to achieve greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Such information would help households and businesses plan and reveal if the plan might cause any disruptions. \u201cSome businesses could lose money or go out of business,\u201d Taylor said.