Senate passes bill to create energy plan in US territories

The Senate passed a before adjourning Wednesday that aims to address issues of U.S. territories.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is the lead sponsor of S. 1237, the Omnibus Territories Act. The Senate passed the measure through a unanimous consent agreement with an amendment from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

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The bill increases the territory of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) three miles past the coast line so the president can use the land for naval and air defense purposes and extends work permits for employers operating on the islands through 2019.

The bill also the Secretary of the Interior to establish an energy action plan for all U.S. territories, including American Samoa, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands.

It expands marine turtle conservation assistance under the Marine Turtle Conservation Act to include the United States and its territories, among several other things.

The bill now head to the House for further action.