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The electric power industry is changing in significant ways, but local planners have not yet clearly articulated their role in guiding the changes. This article seeks to clarify that role by reporting and interpreting what happened in Palm Springs, California, when local planners confronted intense pressure to help foster development of wind energy. Instead of guiding the change local planners impeded development. They were locked in to traditional ways of thinking and responding to the situation, which precluded them from exploring innovative alternatives.