RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court is ending North Carolina's fight for a say in the operations and ownership of four hydroelectric dams under the theory the state has owned the riverbed since statehood and the country's independence.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied North Carolina's effort to reverse lower federal courts in a five-year legal fight over water rights and electricity revenues the dams generated.

North Carolina argued the public benefits promised when Alcoa Corp. built the four Yadkin River dams to power an aluminum smelter ended when the company closed the plant in 2007. Alcoa sold the dams to Cube Hydro.

The state last November separately challenged federal regulators' decision to issue a new license allowing the central North Carolina dams to generate electricity for commercial sale until 2055.