US energy department rebrands fossil fuels as ‘freedom gas’

Natural gas is flared.
Natural gas is flared at the Handy Gas Unit #1, a Pioneer Natural Resources well, in Karnes County, Texas, U.S., on Tuesday, June 22, 2010. Photographer: Eddie Seal/Bloomberg

The US Department of Energy has appeared to rebrand the country’s natural gas as “molecules of freedom”.

In a press release outlining plans to increase exports, Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes, described the resource as ” freedom gas”.

The statement said the move, to increase exports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) produced at a facility in Texas, was promoting clean energy.

Mr Menezes said: “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.”

It comes as President Donald Trump has been accused of hampering climate change efforts, announcing shortly after taking office that the US would be withdrawing from the 2015 Paris climate change agreement.

Social media users have compared the move to another rebrand in the US in 2003, when french fries were named “freedom fries” following France’s opposition to the war in Iraq.

The statement said the expansion of the Freeport LNG facility is estimated to support up to 3,000 engineering and construction jobs and hundreds more indirectly associated.