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Sen. Alexander: Nation can no longer afford wind tax credit

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) on Wednesday said the nation’s fiscal situation has become so dire that the government can no longer afford to maintain a wind power production credit that has been in place since in 1992.

“I think there is certainly the largest realization that we’ve ever had that it’s time for it to end,” Alexander said at a Wednesday event hosted by The Hill and sponsored by the American Energy Alliance.

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Alexander is a longtime opponent of the tax incentive, which credits wind power producers 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The credit is scheduled to expire Dec. 31. Democrats and Republicans from states with significant wind power industries are pushing for its extension during the lame-duck session.

While Alexander has historically been in the minority with his opposition to the credit, the Tennessee Republican said the impending fiscal cliff of deep automatic spending cuts and income tax increases has brought other lawmakers to his side.

Read more on The Hill's E2 Wire.