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American largest environment group calls for Energy Secretary to resign

(Xinhua)    13:39, November 03, 2017

Rick Perry (File photo)

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- American's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization said Energy Secretary Rick Perry should resign over his Thursday's remarks that fossil fuels can help prevent sexual assault.

The California-based group Sierra Club released a statement Thursday afternoon as an official respond to Perry, who said at an event in Washington this morning that expansion of energy can help reduce sexual assaults in Africa and fossil fuels will play an important role.

"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," Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said in the statement.

"Women, and particularly women of color, are among some of the most severely impacted by the climate crisis, and it is these same communities that are most at risk of sexual assault. Rick Perry's attempt to exploit this struggle to justify further dangerous fossil fuel development is unacceptable," Brune said.

The Department of Energy then explained that Perry's statement was meant to highlight the way electricity would improve the lives of people in Africa.

Shaylyn Hynes, an spokeswoman of the department, said that in an energy conference meeting held in Africa last week, some persons told Perry how light can be a deterrent to sexual assault and security in remote areas and the Secretary was stuck, so he shared the idea with Americans, many of whom take electricity for granted.

It is not the first time that Sierra Club has called for senior officials of Trump administration to resign. The group suggested before that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke should resign over chartered air travel they have taken.

Sierra Club was founded in 1892 by the Scottish-American preservationist John Muir. With 3 million members and supporters, it was one of the first large-scale environmental preservation organizations in the world and currently engages in lobbying politicians to promote green policies.

In addition to political advocacy, the group organizes outdoor recreation activities, and has historically been a notable organization for mountaineering and rock climbing in the country. Enditem

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