Rick Perry: Fossil Fuels Can Prevent Sexual Assault in Africa

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Energy Secretary Rick Perry seems to believe that fossil fuels can prevent sexual assault.

During a Thursday media event where he discussed “energy policy priorities,” Perry was pushing for the expansion of fossil fuels in Africa when this came out of his mouth:

“Let me tell you where people are dying, [it] is in Africa, because of the lack of energy they have there. And it’s going to take fossil fuels to push power out into those villages in Africa, where a young girl told me to my face, ‘one of the reasons that electricity is so important to me is not only because I’m not going to have to try to read by the light of a fire and have those fumes literally killing people,’” Perry said.

“But also, from the standpoint of sexual assault. When the lights are on, when you have light that shines, the righteousness, if you will, on those types of acts,” Perry continued. “So from the standpoint of how you really affect people’s lives, fossil fuels is going to play a role in that."

Perry's stance on fossil fuels is in line with the Trump administration's push to increase production of fossil fuels in order to export them to other countries.

This stream-of-consciousness response also come after weeks of sexual assault allegations surfaced involving numerous high-profile men, including Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, NPR head Michael Oreskes, and actor Kevin Spacey, to name a few.

It’s unclear if Perry was using the rambling narrative that sexual assaults can be prevented by the use of fossil fuels to push Trump’s agenda, or if he inserted sexual assault into the conversation because it’s been the most talked-about topic in recent weeks. Either way, his comment did little to accurately highlight the need for electricity in other countries, and even less to help sexual assault survivors.


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