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Zoom!

by David Gura
Oct 3, 2007

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Every afternoon, on my walk home from work, I pass a row of parked cars outside the Hart Senate Office Building. There are luxury sedans and behemoth sport utility vehicles, mostly. For fun, I guess which car belongs to which lawmaker. Does that black Subaru station wagon, with a Vermont license plate, belong to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)? Or Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)? Does Sen. John Warner (R-VA), drive that dark-blue BMW 7 Series? Two weeks ago, I spotted Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-IN), smiling broadly, piloting a silver Toyota Prius. (He waited patiently as I crossed the street, I'll add). Lugar is one of several politicians Iain Carson and Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran, correspondents for The Economist magazine, praise in their new book, Zoom: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future. They argue that politicians need to approach energy politics more realistically, and they point to Lugar as a realist par excellence. The Indiana senator proposed an oil tax and an end to tariffs on Brazilian imports. Carson and Vaitheeswaran will join us in the first hour, to talk about the car of the future. What will it look like? And when can we buy it?

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