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OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Obama budget boosts climate agenda

"WE ARE PREPARED TO DEFEND THIS BUDGET:" Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Dems press Trump consumer safety nominee on chemical issues | Lawmakers weigh how to help struggling energy industry | 180 Democrats ask House leadership for clean energy assistance Lawmakers weigh how to help struggling energy industry The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Surgeon General stresses need to invest much more in public health infrastructure, during and after COVID-19; Fauci hopeful vaccine could be deployed in December MORE summed it up best. 

President Obama dropped a 2016 budget proposal that gives a big boost to his climate change agenda despite the fact that he is now facing a hostile Republican-controlled Congress.

But his Cabinet had his back on Monday, swearing to "defend" the proposal before Congress. 

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Why the aggressive offense? 

Let's crunch the numbers:

$8.6 billion for the EPA, which is $450 million above last year's approved budget.

$4 billion for a new initiative called the Clean Power State Incentive Fund, which will reward states that go beyond the carbon pollution reduction targets set by the administration's regulation on existing power plants.

$7.4 billion for clean energy technology programs to promote the growth of solar, wind and low-carbon fossil fusel across the U.S.

$239 million for the Environmental Protection Agency to assist with its efforts to tackle climate change, $25 million of which will help states craft a strategy to meet targets set by the climate rule.

$29.9 billion for the Energy Department, $2 billion more than Obama requested last year.

- $13.2 billion for the Interior Department, an increase of 8 percent, or $959.2 million, over what Congress gave it for 2015.

$500 million for foreign climate aid -- the United Nations Green Climate Fund -- to help countries mitigate climate change impacts. The administration wants a total of $1.29 billion to help the international climate push, and eventually $3 billion specifically for the climate fund.

So, it should come as no surprise that the GOP and oil and gas industry is blasting the administration over the proposal.  

"I will also do everything in my power to prevent $3 billion in taxpayer dollars from going to the Green Climate Fund, where the money will be spent by unelected U.N. bureaucrats to dictate U.S. policy and hinder developing countries' ability to aggressively address the economics of poverty," Sen. Jim InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeOvernight Defense: Dems want hearing on DOD role on coronavirus vaccine | US and India sign data-sharing pact | American citizen kidnapped in Niger Senate Democrats want hearing on Pentagon vaccine effort Governors urge negotiators to include top priorities in final defense policy bill MORE (R-Okla.) said on Monday.

White House science adviser John Holdren charged that "climate change really ought to be a bipartisan proposition." 

Read more on the budget's climate proposal's here, and the UN fund here

MORE 2016 BUDGET SNIPPETS:  

Offshore drilling funds ... Interior wants to decrease the amount of money that states get for offshore oil and gas drilling off their coasts and use it for national needs. The department is asking Congress to change the state shares in the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, which gives states a greater share of revenues starting in 2017. Instead, the additional $3 billion that would go to states would be spent elsewhere, like for the Land and Water Conservation fund, Interior Secretary Sally JewellSarah (Sally) Margaret JewellNational parks pay the price for Trump's Independence Day spectacle Overnight Energy: Zinke extends mining ban near Yellowstone | UN report offers dire climate warning | Trump expected to lift ethanol restrictions Zinke extends mining ban near Yellowstone MORE told reporters Monday.

The proposal recognizes "that the outer continental shelf is owned by all Americans," Jewell said. 

Coastal lawmakers whose states host offshore drilling blasted the plan. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said he'd do everything in his power to "not only block the president's raid on oil and gas revenues, but fight to increase Louisiana's share of offshore revenue."

Park Service centennial ... The National Park Service (NPS) is gearing up for its 2016 centennial by asking for hundreds of millions of dollars to get parks ready. NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis told reporters Monday that his agency's discretionary budget request is $326 million more than what it received last year. NPS is also asking for another $500 million annual in mandatory spending. Much of the money will go to infrastructure, hiring new rangers, building up its volunteer programs and establishing new parks that Congress authorized last year. 

"These initiatives will prepare us, really, to receive and welcome and ensure a great visit for all 300 million visitors that we expect to receive in our centennial," Jarvis said. "This significant effort ensures that our national treasures entrusted to the National Park Service will be preserved for future generations."

This year's programs will also put a priority on preserving places that are important to civil rights history. 

ON TAP TUESDAY I: The House Oversight Committee will hear from Arthur Elkins, inspector general of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about problems he raised last year with access to EPA information. Elkins has previously said that the EPA's homeland security office works to prevent watchdog access to information that it deems to be secret. The inspectors general of the Justice Department and the Peace Corps will also give updates on their respective oversight issues. Keep an eye on The Hill tomorrow for a bigger preview of the hearing and of the panel's oversight plans for the EPA. 

ON TAP TUESDAY II: United States Trade Representative Michael FromanMichael B.G. FromanOn The Money: Sanders unveils plan to wipe .6T in student debt | How Sanders plan plays in rivalry with Warren | Treasury watchdog to probe delay of Harriet Tubman bills | Trump says Fed 'blew it' on rate decision Democrats give Trump trade chief high marks US trade rep spent nearly M to furnish offices: report MORE and Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken will meet with Miguel Arias Cañete, the European commissioner for climate action and energy. Arias Cañete will speak about energy security and energy cooperation between Europe and the United States and within the G7. 

Rest of Tuesday's agenda...

Pew Charitable Trusts will host an all-day summit on the landscape for energy policy in 2015. It will include representatives from states, the private sector and the federal government, as well as journalists and former Sen. John Warner (D-Va.). 

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's subpanel on railroads, pipelines and hazardous materials will hold a hearing on how changing energy markets affect United States transportation. Lawmakers will hear from representatives of railroads, oil, pipelines and rail equipment manufacturers. 

NEWS BITES: 

Makeover... Green group Natural Resources Defense Council has a new look, and it's broadcasting it on Times Square this week. Marking their 45th anniversary, NRDC promoted the new logo. The national environmental group has only continued to grow in prominence, joining other green groups in spending record amount on campaigns this past election cycle. Check it out here

Seat at the table... Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiAlaska Senate race sees cash surge in final stretch Bitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Justice Barrett joins court; one week until Election Day MORE (R-Alaska), new chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, was given a black windbreaker from a colleague at a GOP retreat in January, marking her new post. The problem? The black jacket which read "Chairman's Table" on the back was for a man. Murkowski gave it to her husband, the New York Times reports, but it hit home for one of the two Republican women to chair a committee under the new Senate majority. 

"I did think that was somewhat telling. We are not thinking about the women," Murkowski said according to the New York Times

AROUND THE WEB:

California is likely to face a fourth consecutive year of drought, Reuters reports

Analysts say the value Canadian dollar could fall to as low as 69 American cents thanks to the oil price slump, Bloomberg Business reports

The World Meteorological Organization has confirmed various countries' conclusions that 2014 was, just barely, the hottest year on record, the Guardian reports.  

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 

Check out Monday's stories...

- Federal fracking rules due out soon

- Reid 'sorry' Senate spent one month on Keystone

- Obama takes aim at billions in oil, gas, coal tax breaks

- Obama wants weather agency moved to Interior

- McConnell touts new post on EPA appropriations panel

- AAA: Gas prices on the rise, but don't panic

- Kerry offers no timeline for Keystone decision

- Budget boosts Obama's climate agenda

- Budget includes $500M in foreign climate aid

- UN wants draft climate pact in two weeks

- Obama 2016 budget to push states to slash emissions

- Oil workers on biggest strike in decades

- Former Md. governor slams White House on new drilling rules

 

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