The United States may not be the world’s largest exporter of natural gas, but it just might be the leading exporter of “freedom gas” — whatever that is.
A Tuesday Department of Energy press release on the authorization of additional liquified natural gas exports from a terminal in Texas refers to so-called “freedom gas” and “molecules of U.S. freedom.”
The word choice doesn’t appear to be a mistake — two high-ranking Department of Energy officials use the terms.
“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,” said U.S. Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes is quoted as saying.
Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg hailed record-setting domestic natural gas production and said he is “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.”
As noted by Slate, the strange terminology seems to have originated from a press briefing in Brussels in early May, where Energy Secretary Rick Perry compared increased U.S. exports of liquified natural gas to the liberation of Europe in WWII, saying “the United States is again delivering a form of freedom to the European continent.”
“And rather than in the form of young American soldiers, it’s in the form of liquefied natural gas,” he added.
When a reporter asked if the exports could be described as “freedom gas,” Perry acknowledged that the observation might be correct.