As states continue to suffer the economic consequences of BP’s disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, recent reports suggest the company may attempt to exploit a loophole in the law to avoid full responsibility for the disaster. Senator Tester’s Pollution Accountability Act would close the loophole by adding the phrase “whichever amount is higher” to the Clean Water Act. Senator Tester says some Montanans have expressed concern about the impact that this could have on communities in Eastern Montana, but maintains  that this is about holding  big oil companies accountable.

 Under current law, a court can decide whether to fine a company based on the number of days of the spill, or based on the number of barrels of oil that spilled.