For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Rick Perry’s Absurd Remark About Fossil Fuels and Sexual Assault

Statement of Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch

WASHINGTON - At an energy policy forum today, Energy Secretary Rick Perry suggested that fossil fuels prevent sexual assault, stating, “From the standpoint of sexual assault, when the lights are on, when you have a light that shines, the righteousness, if you will, on those types of acts.” In response, Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter issued the following statement:

“Rick Perry’s statement on the social virtues of fossil fuels is absurd. We all need light in the dark, but what we don’t need are the host of calamitous impacts of dirty fossil fuels on society: air and water pollution, destruction of natural landscapes, deadly human health effects and global climate chaos. There are better ways to keep the lights on, Mr. Perry.

“It’s time to acknowledge the better path forward: renewable power from clean and abundant resources.”

Relatedly, a study from Food & Water Watch on the social impacts of the fossil fuel industry in Pennsylvania found that in counties where fossil fuel development existed, rates of sexually transmitted diseases were 62 percent higher than in areas without that industry, and arrests rates for disorderly conduct increased more quickly as well.


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Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.

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