If you follow the news, you know that there is controversy in Maine over the expansion of onshore wind power.

But you also may have a distorted idea of how much controversy there really is.

In poll after poll, more than 80 percent of Mainers say they approve of generating power from wind turbines, because it’s good for the environment and good for the economy.

That level of support in a state that has been closely divided on a wide range of political issues in the past few years means something. It’s a recognition that people are concerned about the amount of fossil fuels we burn to light our homes and run our appliances, and that they recognize that we have something to sell that other people need.

Maine is the biggest state in New England and has the best wind resource. Other states that want to diversify their energy portfolios with renewable power will look to Maine as a source, if current plans are carried out.

And if they are, the state can expect to benefit financially on the construction alone.

About $3 billion worth of wind projects have been proposed, and the industry estimates that about 40 percent of that would be spent in the state with Maine companies. Wind farms create some permanent jobs and pay local property taxes. There is no other industry planning to spend that much money in Maine, and the state cannot afford to dismiss it.

There are legitimate concerns with where wind turbines are located that should be addressed through the regulatory process.

Some, but not all, Mainers object to the visual impact of wind turbines, and their development can be restricted in the most important view corridors.

And they do make noise and they should not be located too close to homes.

But to say that those surmountable regulatory challenges should doom the industry’s expansion in Maine just doesn’t make sense.

That’s why a strong majority of Maine people support the expansion of this type of power. It’s up to regulators to find a way to address the legitimate concerns of the opponents, while letting the expansion of this industry move forward.