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Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry testifies before a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on his nomination to be Energy secretary. Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

Energy Sec. Perry says fossil fuels can prevent sexual assault

WASHINGTON — Energy Secretary Rick Perry says he thinks using fossil fuels can help prevent sexual assault.

Perry said Thursday that using fossil fuels to power electricity can help villages in Africa and other developing regions. He said during a recent visit to Africa, a young girl told him electricity was important to her because she has to read by the light of a fire with noxious fumes.

Speaking at an event sponsored by Axios and NBC News, Perry said electricity also was important “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’s remark comes as an uproar over sexual-assault allegations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein has spread to other industries and politics.

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