Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree announced today she has introduced a bill to force BP to pay royalties on the oil that has spilled from its well in the Gulf of Mexico.

Oil companies pay royalties on oil they collect and sell from offshore wells, but current law allows federal agencies to charge royalties on spilled oil only after a finding of negligence. Pingree said her bill would require BP to pay for all the oil that comes out of the damaged well regardless of a negligence finding.

Pingree has been urging BP to pay the royalties since last month, and she has called for using the money to pay environmental fees for offshore wind and tidal power projects.

“Not only does BP need to pay for the incredible economic and environmental damage they’ve done,” Pingree said. “They also owe the American people for the millions of gallons of oil they have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.

“We need the force of law to make sure they pay every penny they owe us.”