Rick Perry Says Fossil Fuels Can Prevent Sexual Assault

Rick Perry Says Fossil Fuels Can Prevent Sexual Assault

Energy Secretary Rick Perry was touting the Trump administration's energy policy when he shone a light in an unusual direction, implying that expanding exports of fossil fuels is "going to play a positive role" in preventing sexual assault in Africa.

Richard PerryA renaissance to reverse United States strategic minerals imports: Dig, Baby, Dig Week ahead: Senate to vote on disaster relief bill Perry is safeguarding America's energy grid against next Polar Vortex MORE's comments on fossil fuels and sexual assault were meant to highlight the importance of electricity to parts of Africa.

"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 and read by the light of a fire and have those fumes literally killing people'".

Shaylyn Hynes, a Department of Energy spokeswoman, told the Hill that in Africa, "one person told [Perry] about how light can be a deterrent to sexual assault and security in remote areas".

"But also from the standpoint of sexual assault", Perry said.

"I'm more Jewish than you think I am".

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Mr Perry was speaking at an event on Thursday when he told the audience electricity in Africa was important "from the standpoint of sexual assault".

The comments have been criticised by environmental groups.

Perry's weird claim came during an Axios/NBC panel focusing on the Trump administration's energy policies.

"He does not deserve to hold office another day with these twisted ideas, and he should resign from his position immediately before he causes any more damage".

Mr Perry has a history of skepticism when it comes to climate change.

He dropped out of the race after famously failing to recall the name of the agency he now heads, which he said he would abolish if elected.