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Groscost threats delayed action on alt-fuel debacle

But while Groscost appears to have been telling state legislators not to anticipate a "stampede," statements he made in July indicate he fully expected a strong response and, in fact, was pleased.

In a July 18 appearance in Washington, D.C., before a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Groscost boasted that the fuel incentive program was generating huge demand. Groscost said Arizona's program proved that people will purchase alternative-fuel vehicles if provided generous tax incentives.

"In fact, those incentives . . . have truly moved the market," Groscost testified before the subcommittee, chaired by Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

Groscost told the subcommittee that a single dealership had more than 800 Chevy Suburbans on back order and that a Honda dealership had more than 1,000 vehicles on order. Rebates are averaging about $22,000 per vehicle -- or about $40 million for the 1,800 vehicles Groscost identified in his U.S. Senate testimony.

Additional New Times coverage alternative-fuels:

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