Introducing America's New Export, 'Freedom Gas'

Department of Energy's new term is met with skepticism
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2019 12:20 PM CDT
Introducing America's New Export, 'Freedom Gas'
US Energy Secretary Rick Perry talks during a signing ceremony of two liquefied natural gas (LNG) export orders in Brussels, Thursday, May 2, 2019.   (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Why call it liquefied natural gas when you can call it "freedom gas"? The patriotic term is making headlines after being spotted in a press release from the Department of Energy. On Tuesday, the department headed by Rick Perry announced that exports of the fuel source would be increased thanks to a new liquefaction plant to be built off the coast of Texas, and the press release included a few interesting turns of phrase:

  • "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 undersecretary of energy Mark W. Menezes.
  • "I am pleased that the Department of Energy is doing what it can to promote an efficient regulatory system that allows for molecules of US freedom to be exported to the world," said Steven Winberg, the assistant secretary for fossil energy who signed the export order.

But it seems to have been Perry himself who originally coined the phrase; per the New York Times, the former Texas governor told reporters earlier this month in Brussels that 75 years after liberating Europe from Nazi occupation, "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." Asked by one reporter whether it would be accurate to describe the gas as "freedom gas," Perry assented. If "freedom gas" sounds familiar to you, you're not alone; many people were comparing the term to the infamous "freedom fries" that were sold in US House cafeterias in 2003 in response to France's opposition to the US-led war in Iraq, Dallas News reports. "This is a new low," tweeted the Sierra Club. "#FreedomGas?" (More Rick Perry stories.)

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