HELENA, MT — Big Sky country seems as remote from Wall Street as one could imagine in the continental United States.
With tax bases drained, however, states are trying to squeeze every drop from emptied barrels. Montana is no exception.
The New York Times reported that notes from Lewis & Clark on the navigability of the Upper Missouri River are evidence in a U.S. Supreme Court case.
The State of Montana is seeking more than $50 million from a power company that owns federally licensed hydroelectric dams.
The court is reviewing a state Supreme Court ruling that the river was navigable in 1889 and thus validates the state’s claim of control of the portion of river in Montana.
The issue is not so unlike the clash between state and federal regulation of medical marijuana.