Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said Thursday that fossil fuels can help prevent sexual assault by keeping the lights on, according to The Hill.
During an event with Axios and NBC in Washington, D.C., Perry brought up sexual assault after launching into a story about a trip to Africa, where he said “people are dying” because they don’t have access to energy.
“And it’s going to take fossil fuels to push power out into those villages in Africa, where a young girl said 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 kill people,” Perry said.
He continued: “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’s stance however, is disputed by RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) who has statistics that indicate only 15% of sexual assaults occur in public open places, while nearly 70% of assaults occur in a homes, buildings, or dorm rooms.
Perry and the rest of the Trump administration have been outspoken proponents of expanding energy production from fossil fuels.