White House Promotes Fossil Fuels at Climate Change Conference Only to Have it Badly Backfire

 Protesters interrupted a White House presentation promoting fossil fuels and nuclear power Monday at the international climate talks here.

About 100 people at a side event at the conference launched into a song accusing the U.S. speakers of greed that’s “killing across the world for that coal money,” sung the tune of “God Bless the USA.” The outburst came after President Donald Trump's energy aide George David Banks said in his opening remarks that the White House would support development of more efficient coal plants, as well as renewable and nuclear power.

The protesters marched out of the room after singing and chanting for about 10 minutes, and continued outside the hall.

Banks, who complimented the singing, said that renewable power is not yet ready to serve as baseload power, adding that it is "naive" to expect developing countries to deploy only solar and wind.

"This panel is only controversial if we choose to bury our heads in the sand and ignore the realities of the global energy system," he said, arguing that many countries will continue to build coal plants, efficient or not.

Banks did not offer details on how the White House might promote the more efficient use of fossil fuels, and whether that included technology research or financing projects in developing countries.

Francis Brooke, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, is moderating the talk featuring executives from the liquefied natural gas company Tellurian, coal miner Peabody Energy and nuclear power company NuScale.