A crucial tax credit for wind energy producers will expire at the end of this year, undercutting the clean energy industry.

Congress should extend it — although with a multiyear phaseout to recognize that the cost of wind power has steadily come down.

If this issue sounds familiar, it is. Last year, federal lawmakers put a one-year extension of the credit — but only one year — in its “fiscal cliff” deal.

Colorado Sen. Mark Udall is pushing for a five-year extension of the tax credit this time in order to provide longer-term investment certainty.

Make no mistake, this is a significant federal investment of $1 billion a year. But it is needed to support a relatively new industry that is part of a national strategy to move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

And it's one that brings a significant number of jobs.

Congress should approve the tax credit extension now rather than wait until the 11th hour once again.