According to US Energy Secretary Rick Perry, fossil fuels can help prevent sexual assault.
The statement was made on Thursday during an energy policy conference in Washington as Perry was explaining how African villages could benefit from fossil fuel powered electricity.
“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 said. “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 US energy secretary also said he believed human activity was not the main cause of climate change.
Perry was appointed as energy secretary in December 2016 despite having promised to abolish the Energy Department in his 2012 presidential campaign and forgetting what the deparment was called during a debate.
Following the statement, the US’s largest environmental organisation, Sierra Club, has tweeted asking Perry to resign.
SecretaryPerry</a> he must resign after saying expanding fossil fuel use will decrease sexual assault: <a href="https://t.co/ePf4XcG5uY">https://t.co/ePf4XcG5uY</a></p>— Sierra Club (SierraClub) November 2, 2017
According to The Hill, a spokeswoman for the energy agency said that Perry’s point was important and showed how some places in the world were impacted by their lack of electricity.