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Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., a conservative lawmaker and vocal opponent of renewable energy, has announced that he will leave the Senate in early January to become president of conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation.

DeMint has sought to repeal all energy-specific tax credits, including those for wind power. Earlier this year, he introduced an amendment to the Surface Transportation Bill that, in addition to eliminating all energy tax credits - including the production tax credit (PTC) - would have made the PTC expire retroactively on Jan. 1, 2012, meaning tax credits already awarded this year would have been repealed.

The Senate defeated DeMint’s amendment, as well as a separate amendment that would have extended the PTC for one year.

DeMint was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1998 and to the U.S. Senate in 2004 and 2010. He is a member of the Joint Economic Committee; the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; the Banking, House and Urban Affairs Committee; and the Foreign Relations Committee.

"I'm leaving the Senate now, but I'm not leaving the fight, DeMint said in a statement. “I've decided to join The Heritage Foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas… My constituents know that being a senator was never going to be my career.”



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