Arizona Senator Says US Energy Can't Be Dependent on 'Wackos'

January 23, 2006 - 11:36 a.m. CST

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Republican Senator John McCain says America must explore alternate sources of energy. Otherwise, McCain says the U-S risks being held hostage by Iran -- or by what he calls ``wackos'' in Venezuela.

The ``wackos'' remark apparently is a reference to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

McCain says the United States will be vulnerable as long as it remains dependent on foreign energy. He tells Fox the US must move quickly, and that means having to go back to nuclear power.

Iran is OPEC's second-largest producer. Venezuela is the world's fifth-largest oil exporter. Chavez is a frequent critic of the United States and has promised to free his country from what he calls ``imperialist'' interests.

 (Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)