The nation’s leading environmental group has called on Energy Secretary Rick Perry too resign over his Thursday statement that fossil fuels can help prevent sexual assault by powering lights.
“It was already clear that Rick Perry is unfit to lead the Department of Energy, but 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,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement.
“He does not deserve to hold office another day with these twisted ideas, and he should resign from his position immediately before he causes any more damage.”
The former Texas governor was addressing the future of the energy sector on Thursday during a policy discussion with “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd and Axios CEO and founder Jim VandeHei when he claimed that expanding fossil fuel exports would play a “positive role.”
During a recent trip to Africa, Perry says he met a young girl who told him that energy is important to her because she often reads by the light of a fire with toxic fumes.
“But also from the standpoint of sexual assault,” Perry said. “When the lights are on, when you have light that shines, the righteousness, if you will on those types of acts,” he said.
“From the standpoint of how you really affect people’s lives, fossil fuels are going to play a role in that. I happen to think it’s going to play a positive role.”
The top environmental group has been very critical of many officials in the Trump administration.
The Hill added:
It has at least twice suggested that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt should resign, over congressional testimony and his position on the agency’s ability to regulate carbon emissions. Last week, it called for a congressional investigation into any potential ties between Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and a since-canceled electricity contract in Puerto Rico.
The Sierra Club also said both Pruitt and Zinke should resign over chartered air travel they have taken.