Move over "freedom fries" of failed Iraq War fame — this isn't even "Not the Onion" territory. Via Bloomberg:
The U.S. has a message for the rest of the world: Get ready for a lot more "freedom gas."
These are the words of the the Department of Energy this week as it announced approval for the new launch of the Freeport LNG project in Texas. The facility will now export liquefied natural gas and is seen as crucial to America's growing international clout as a natural gas exporter.
US Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes said in his statement upon approval of the project:
Increasing export capacity from the Freeport LNG project is critical to spreading freedom gas throughout the world by giving America’s allies a diverse and affordable source of clean energy.
The statement reflects long held priorities of the Trump administration which increasingly sees domestic energy production as vitally tied into to an "America first" foreign policy as well as economic policy.
"More exports of U.S. LNG to the world means more U.S. jobs and more domestic economic growth and cleaner air here at home and around the globe," Menezes continued.
Apparently this "freedom gas" moniker is already official and circulating in the halls of the federal government. Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg added his touch by saying, "I am pleased that the Department of Energy is doing what it can to promote an efficient regulatory system that allows for molecules of U.S. freedom to be exported to the world,” according to his statement.
Predictably, the internet was quick to jump all over this one.
The "freedom gas" and "freedom molecules" statements were of course roundly mocked on social media and even in mainstream headlines.
US Department of Energy has now declared that natural gas - a fossil fuel - are "molecules of US freedom"— Doug Parr (@doug_parr) May 29, 2019
Orwell nailed ithttps://t.co/FbAzPEAK7q
NBC noted the first to coin it may have been Energy Secretary and former governor of Texas Rick Perry:
The constructions aren't new. When he signed similar orders early this month, Energy Secretary Rick Perry told reporters in Brussels that "the United States is again delivering a form of freedom to the European continent," adding: "And rather than in the form of young American soldiers, it's in the form of liquefied natural gas."
Bloomberg cited data showing American LNG export terminals have been "receiving almost 6 billion cubic feet of gas per day" which is "equivalent to more than a 10th of domestic production."