With the expanding allegations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein and others, Energy Secretary Rick Perry appears to have the answer: fossil fuels. That’s right, more fossil fuel less sexual assault.
Perry was at an energy policy event in Washington hosted by Axios and NBC News when he was asked about the benefits of bringing power to African villages. Perry described how much he learned on a recent trip to Africa. According to The Hill, he described how “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.'” He then added:
“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 is not clear how “righteousness” will shine with having power in villages. Rapes occur in fully electrified areas. India for example is fully powered but has an ongoing epidemic of rape. Rape certainly can be fueled by culture, religious, poverty, and other influences, but this is the first suggestion that it is fuel but a lack of fuel.