In the ensuing decades, deregulation, open access, a multitude of state and federal incentives for solar and wind power, and the onset of fracking have dramatically changed the energy scene here. Domestic energy resources are plentiful.
Even as solar advocates boasted that solar's costs are plummeting, North Carolina's PURPA terms were locking state ratepayers into a situation where they're forced to buy all solar energy produced at exorbitant costs that go well past the actual production costs. It's a great way to make money, but no way to treat captive consumers of a vital necessity.
A recent National Bureau of Economic Research working paper shows that higher heating bills costs lives. Keeping energy prices low is doubly important because energy is a basic human need, and as such, anything that raises its costs unnecessarily has a much bigger impact on poor families than on others.