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Parsing fossil fuels, sexual assault and Rick Perry

Rick Perry speaks with Jim VandeHei and Chuck Todd at an Axios/NBC energy policy event Thursday morning in Washington, D.C. Photo: Chuck Kennedy / Axios

Energy secretary Rick Perry said at our Axios and NBC event Thursday morning that fossil fuels can help prevent sexual assault.

Our thought bubble: Perry's comments, which got picked up by numerous other media outlets, came off as inarticulate and opened him up to a barrage of criticism that he was both inaccurate and insensitive to victims of sexual assault. The underlying point he was implying — fossil-fuel powered electricity helps ensure safety — is a valid though too narrow point.