If Buckfield residents were to enact a moratorium on wind power projects, as they are now considering, they wouldn’t be the first Mainers to do so.

Thorndike enacted a moratorium in March. Rumford enacted one last month.

The moratorium in Jackson was adopted, and then extended 180 days. Same thing happened in Dixmont.

As in Thorndike, officials in each of these towns supported moratoriums to allow time to study wind power development, and its effect “on public health, safety and welfare, and the laws and experiences of other jurisdictions.”

In Rumford, townspeople felt they needed time to looks at the facts and consider options.

Thoughtful consideration of anything this important is justified, but no one is inventing a new wheel here. Wind turbines enjoy widespread use in European nations, and have been spinning for years in Upstate New York, Vermont and northern Maine, among many other mountaintop regions in this country.

Study after study has been conducted to consider public health needs, safety and welfare, and experiences of other jurisdictions, and it would be quite an astonishing development if hyper-local, town-specific studies uncovered radically new scientific or enjoyment-of-life evidence.

In Buckfield, contemplation of a moratorium is a curious thing, especially for turbines to be sited on Streaked Mountain. The mountain is already home to a highly-visible and vast cluster of antenna and communications towers used by emergency service agencies and cell phone users.

These towers and antenna were the subject of public meetings and hearings, but there was never a whisper of moratorium on construction because the elevated site is well-suited for communication equipment.

Does that mean we need to communicate more than we need to create alternative energy sources in our towns? Hardly. The two needs are equally important, but aren’t being equally welcomed.

Before rushing headlong into a moratorium, residents in Buckfield and elsewhere in Maine where these moves are being considered might give equal thought to the cost of delaying or banning wind power in their communities.

Wind power is a proven energy source, and taking advantage of an increasing number of available grants to launch construction of these projects offers a real boost to the local economy by increasing the property tax base and creating jobs.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has regulations in place governing turbine noise and placement, based on years of review by experts, so we’re not talking about rogue placement of towers in Maine’s hamlets.

If we can stomach the sight of a cell phone tower so we can chat with our neighbors, doesn’t it make sense to do the same to foster renewable energy to power our homes and businesses?

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