Congress is nearing final action on a plan designed to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, foster a cleaner environment and cause motorists to say fill-er-up - with corn, coal or natural gas.

By a voice vote, the Senate on Tuesday gave its blessing to legislation its 64 co-sponsors hope will promote commercial development and production of cars, trucks and buses that run on alternative fuels.The vote, capping four years of hearings and negotiations, left the alternative fuels proposal, a blending of similar House and Senate bills, just a perfunctory House vote away from going to the president's desk.

The bill, sponsored on the Senate side by Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., seeks to spur the wide commercial development of cars, trucks and buses that can operate on such fuels as methanol, ethanol and natural gas.

The bill provides that for each alternative-fuel car produced and sold, the manufacturer would get large credits that would make it easier to meet the government's minimum fuel economy requirements.