In Arizona: Natural-Gas Sticker Shock

When Kelvin Giles bought his lumbering 2001 GMC Yukon last spring, he could hardly believe his luck. The Phoenix, Ariz., technology consultant stood to receive $23,000 in rebates on the $50,000 vehicle, compliments of the state government's alternative-fuels program, which threatens to cost Arizona an incredible $680 million--or 11% of the entire state budget. Says Giles: "I always put this under the heading of too good to be true."

He may be right. Stunned by the gargantuan cost of the program, which more than 22,000 Arizonans rushed to sign up for, state lawmakers remained hunkered down last week in a rancorous...

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