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Energy Secretary Rick Perry Says Fossil Fuels Can Prevent Sexual Assault

Fossil fuels can help prevent sexual assault, Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Thursday.

Perry described his belief at an energy policy event in Washington hosted by Axios and NBC News, while talking about how bringing power to African villages would save lives.

"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."

Rick Perry Claims Fossil Fuels Can Prevent Sexual Assault 1:05

Perry, a former Texas governor who ran for president twice, also said that he does not believe that humans are the main drivers of climate change, telling the moderators Jim VandeHei and "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd, "I still think the science is out."

Perry, who was tapped to lead the Energy Department in December 2016, famously vowed to eliminate the agency, but couldn’t remember its name in a presidential debate in 2011.

Perry, as energy secretary, is in charge of maintaining and securing America’s vast nuclear arsenal, among other things.