In 2001, the Great Plains Institute (GPI) convened a diverse group of stakeholders and launched its Powering the Plains (PTP) program. From the beginning, PTP turned the energy and climate debate on its head. Instead of focusing primarily on costs, PTP stakeholders also devoted attention to how the Upper Midwest can maximize its economic opportunities in energy and agriculture in a carbon-constrained world.

This roadmap represents the collective thinking by these stakeholders in meeting this challenge. What may distinguish this document most from similar roadmap efforts elsewhere is who developed this one and how it came about. It is rare to have a forum in which widely diverse interests can speak candidly about difficult issues. While consensus cannot solve all disputes, in this case the PTP process allowed participants to develop a shared understanding of key energy and climate issues and to reach agreement on how this region might respond.


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