As state regulators press to complete an economic analysis of California\u2019s plan to cut greenhouse gases, concern about the potential for climate change strategies to raise the cost of energy bills ratcheted up a notch in San Diego and Washington this week. A key advisory committee to the California Air Resources Board meeting in San Diego July 30 criticized the agency for delaying release of its economic analysis of the state\u2019s draft plan for slashing greenhouse gases 30 percent by 2020. It further questioned whether the agency would allow enough time for the public to adequately review the delayed study when it is released. \u201cIt\u2019s a laughable conclusion,\u201d said Jane Williams, co-chair of the agency\u2019s Environmental Justice Advisory Committee. She was referring to the draft plan\u2019s presumption that a carbon cap-and-trade program is a more certain and economical way to cut greenhouse gases than a carbon tax. Other committee members expressed fear that a carbon cap-and-trade program could lead to energy price volatility. They favor a carbon tax, which they claimed would make energy prices more predictable and stable. However, Air Board program evaluation manager Kevin Kennedy defended the draft plan released in late June. He also promised that the upcoming economic study would compare the cost impacts of a carbon cap-and-trade program with the impacts of a carbon tax. While environmental justice advocates and regulators argued about which climate change policy may be most effective and economical in California, African-American leaders in Washington squared off over the economic impacts of potential federal legislation to cut carbon dioxide emissions from the energy industry. Congress of Racial Equality spokesperson Niger Innis accused Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) of leading a \u201cwar on the poor\u201d along with what he called \u201cenvironmental extremists.\u201d Though it was a liberal bastion of the civil rights movement during the 1960s, CORE recently has tilted toward conservative politics. The attack came at the same time that Clyburn joined a group of African American leaders to create a new commission that plans to work to engage African Americans on the issues of climate change and energy. The Commission to Engage African Americans on Climate Change, under the auspices of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, wants to ensure that greenhouse gas reduction and related energy policies are fair to all. \u201cAddressing climate change must be a priority for all Americans, but it\u2019s especially important for African Americans, who have been and will continue to be one of the most impacted groups,\u201d said Clyburn, who serves as House Majority Whip. African Americans are more sensitive to rising energy costs and more likely to be \u201cfuel poor,\u201d the commission noted. However, it observed, they also are more vulnerable to global warming, due to the urban heat island effect in inner cities where many live. The new commission issued a survey showing that 54 percent of African Americans characterize global warming as a major problem with another 24 percent thinking it a moderate problem. There is an 81 percent consensus among African Americans that the federal government should take strong action to deal with global warming, the survey said. Seven in ten African Americans said it is very important that the 2008 Presidential candidates commit to doing something about global warming. An additional 22 percent believe it somewhat important that such a commitment is made. A large majority of African Americans, 72 percent, supported legislative action that would mandate the U.S. to begin achieving the goals of the Kyoto treaty on climate change. An even larger majority, 81 percent, wanted the next President and the U.S. Senate to become active in the negotiations for a new international climate change treaty, and for the U.S. to support the new treaty\u2019s provisions. A solid majority of African Americans, 64 percent, said they are willing to pay an additional $10 a month to fight global warming. However, only 28 percent were willing to pay an additional $25 dollars a month and only 14 percent were willing to pay an additional $50 dollars.