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Rick Perry suggests connection between fossil fuels and preventing sexual assault

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry stirred a controversy Thursday when he appeared to suggest a connection between burning fossil fuels and preventing sexual assault, a lesson he said he had learned on a recent trip to Africa.

"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,' " the former Texas governor said, according to The Hill.

"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," he added.

When the lights are on, when you have light that shines, the righteousness, if you will, on those types of acts.

Energy Sec. Rick Perry

He continued, "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."

The Sierra Club released a statement calling for Perry to resign over the comments. 

"To suggest that fossil fuel development will decrease sexual assault is not only blatantly untrue, it is an inexcusable attempt to minimize a serious and pervasive issue," the environmental group said.

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