Energy Gee, Your Car Smells Terrific!

In the race to develop cleaner-burning auto fuels, an old standby -- gasoline -- is making a surprising comeback

Ask futurists what most Americans will be putting in the fuel tanks of their automobiles in the 21st century -- assuming there are still automobiles, with fuel tanks, in the 21st century -- and they will probably describe some exotic combustible derived from wood chips, corn husks or ordinary seawater. But as the year 2000 gets closer, it seems increasingly likely, even to ardent environmentalists, that the real fuel of the 21st century will be a more familiar blend. "For the foreseeable future," says Bill Sessa, a spokesman for California's influential Air Resources Board, "the dominant fuel in this country will...

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