Rick Perry wants to use fossil fuels to help stop sexual assault

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Say what you will about Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, but don’t you ever question his loyalty to fossil fuels.

In a conversation with Axios and NBC Wednesday, the secretary discussed the Trump administration’s current energy priorities. The secretary, who recently returned from a trip promoting fossil fuels in Africa, highlighted the energy’s ability to “shine the light” on sexual assault.

Here’s the full quote for context:

“I just got back from Africa, I’m going to finish up with this, because I think I heard a lady say there are people dying. Let me tell you where people are dying, 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.’ 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. So from the standpoint of how you really affect people’s lives, fossil fuels is going to play a role in that. I happen to think it’s going to play a positive role.”

It’s currently not clear if the girl which Perry sources shared this sentiment about fossil fuels or whether the secretary framed it in a self-serving way. Even without that information, people are angry and calling for his resignation. 

Perry’s claim was met with widespread raised eyebrows. Republicans don’t have a great track record on rape and sexual assault — unless they can promote fossil fuels.

Over the past few years, American startups have raced to help the electrify Africa — but using renewable energy like solar, not fossil fuels. The secretary’s focus has been elsewhere.

“The United States wants to be partners with South Africa and throughout the continent,” Perry told reporters in Cape Town last week. “We talked about a lot of opportunities — LNG, coal, but it all goes to the issue of power and power being able to be delivered into places that don’t take electricity for granted.”

Coal to the rescue!

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Tags: culture fossil-fuels politics rick-perry sexual-assault watercooler

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