OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Selling the budget

Salazar will visit a facility in Kent, Ohio, that builds tanks and trailers used in oil and natural-gas exploration, then head to Lincoln Electric near Cleveland.

“Salazar will tour the company’s Automation Division, where they produce arc welding solutions that support the wind industry and other energy sectors across the nation,” an advisory states.

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Later in the week, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Salazar will appear before Capitol Hill lawmakers to defend the budget blueprint that will serve as a vehicle for President Obama’s election-year messaging.

The budget plan seeks to boost green energy funding; extends tax credits for renewable power projects; reauthorizes lapsed tax credits for manufacturing green energy equipment; and repeals billions of dollars in oil industry tax breaks, among other provisions.

The plan would very slightly trim the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, while the $11.4 billion requested for the Interior Department is basically flat funding.

But Interior’s offshore oil-and-gas regulators would see more resources under the plan, and it would also boost funding for Interior’s renewable energy programs by 21 percent.

NEWS BITES:

Anti-Keystone pipeline activists mobilize ahead of possible Senate vote

Anti-Keystone activists are hoping to deliver a petition opposing the Alberta-to-Texas pipeline with more than 500,000 signatures to top Senate leaders Tuesday.

The groups — led by 350.org — began collecting signatures at noon Monday and will finish at the same time Tuesday. As of Monday evening, the groups said they had more than 370,000 signatures.

“Anyone who thought environmentalists were graying into irrelevance was wrong,” 350.org founder Bill McKibben said in a statement. “If we can keep this momentum up for another 18 hours we'll have our half million signatures, and we'll have proof that Americans who are paying attention want the president's courage backed up by the Congress."

Activists will deliver the petition to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday.

Senate Republicans have offered an amendment to a broad transportation package that would force approval of the pipeline, but it’s unclear if the amendment will come up for a vote. The Senate is slated to debate the transportation package on the floor this week.

The activists’ petition calls on supporters not to “allow 'game over' for the climate. Block any efforts to revive the dangerous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.”

The Keystone XL pipeline would carry oil sands crude from Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Opponents of the pipeline raise concerns about greenhouse gas emissions and other ecological damages from oil sands production, as well as oil spills. 

More than a dozen climate scientists urged congressional leaders to reject efforts to revive the pipeline in a letter Monday.

President Obama rejected the pipeline last month, blaming the decision on Republicans who won approval of a measure in a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut requiring a decision on the project within 60 days.

Canada still has hope for Keystone approval

A top Canadian official tells Reuters that there’s still hope for the Keystone pipeline — but the project likely won’t move forward until after the upcoming election.

"We believe Keystone will be revived and approved after the presidential election," Ron Liepert, Alberta's finance minister, told Reuters. "But it's not a sure thing."

Here’s more from Reuters.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

Here's a quick roundup of Monday's E2 stories:

— Energy Dept. nears approval of $8.3B nuke loan, setting up clash in Congress
— Obama's budget doubles down on renewable energy
— Obama budget repeals billions in oil, gas tax breaks, reviving fight with GOP
— Senate GOP pushes for Keystone vote on highway measure
— The Week Ahead: Officials to defend Obama’s energy budget request

Please send tips and comments to Ben Geman, ben.geman@thehill.com, and Andrew Restuccia, arestuccia@thehill.com.

Follow us on Twitter: @E2Wire, @AndrewRestuccia, @Ben_Geman

This post was updated at 11:45 p.m.