USA Today Calls for Replacement of Internal Combustion Engine
Last spring, a brief energy crisis captured the headlines. The epicenter was in California, where residents braced for a summer of blackouts, and politicians struggled to stave off disaster. While the rest of the country didn't have to fear lights going out, it got a double whammy to the wallet from a surge in gasoline and natural-gas prices.
President Bush seized the moment to push for a vast energy plan intended to save the day with more production, more alternative fuels, more research, modest conservation and lots more spending. ''We don't want the blackouts of California to extend their reach nationwide,'' he told an Iowa audience, urging quick action.
Fast forward 10 months: The House of Representatives long ago passed Bush's plan, including a controversial expansion of oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But not until today does the Senate begin debating an alternative bill.
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