High court avoids 'impermissible bias' question in solar utility ruling
Lower-court judge had called utility commissioners biased against solar development
September 30, 2020
HELENA - The Montana Supreme Court has upheld a ruling from last year in which a state District Court judge criticized the Montana Public Service Commission's handling of a rate contract dispute between a solar power developer and NorthWestern Energy.
However, the high court declined in its Sept. 22 ruling to review a portion of Judge James Manley's June 2019 order that concluded the utility commissioners had violated the solar developer's due process rights by publishing newspaper op-eds and making other public statements critical of renewable energy sources or climate change science.