Rick Perry Has a Genius Solution to Preventing Sexual Assault: Fossil Fuels

“When you have the light that shines, the righteousness…”

Bill Clark/ZUMA

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Thursday offered a new, off-kilter rationale for supporting the expansion of fossil fuels in Africa: the prevention of sexual assault. His line of thinking appeared to center on the power of fossil fuels to generate light—presumably with lightbulbs?—and the false notion that sexual assault only takes place in the dark.

“When the lights are on, when you have light that shines, the righteousness, if you will, on those types of acts,” Perry said, referring to incidents of sexual assault. “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,” he continued.

Lightbulbs, of course, can be powered by all sorts of electricity sources. In fact, there’s a race on right now to power the vast number of off-the-grid communities across the African continent using inexpensive solar panels that don’t require the massive infrastructure build-out of a traditional grid.

Perry’s bizarre claim came during an Axios/NBC panel focusing on the Trump administration’s energy policies. During the same discussion, the former Texas governor also asserted that the “science is out on” on man-made climate change. 

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate