Energy officials within the Trump administration referred to natural gas exported by U.S. energy companies as "freedom gas" and "molecules of U.S. freedom" in official statements.
In a press release Tuesday, Under Secretary Mark Menezes of the Energy Department said that an expansion of natural gas exports in Texas approved by the Energy Department would aid in "spreading freedom gas throughout the world."
“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. Further, 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,” he said in the statement.
“There’s no doubt today’s announcement furthers this Administration’s commitment to promoting energy security and diversity worldwide," Menezes added.
A second Trump official at the Department of Energy, Steven Winberg, boasted in the press release that the export approval would cause "molecules of U.S. freedom to be exported to the world."
"Increased supplies of U.S. natural gas on the world market are critical to advancing clean energy and the energy security of our allies around the globe. With the U.S. in another year of record-setting natural gas production, 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,” Winberg, an assistant secretary for fossil energy, wrote in the news release.
The two officials' comments were mocked online including by Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeVaccine mandates put unions in a bind Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Armadillo army takes over North Carolina town Washington redistricting commission fails, punts maps to Supreme Court MORE (D), a candidate for president in 2020, who drew comparisons between the odd nickname for natural gas and the decision by lawmakers to rename french fries as "freedom fries" in the U.S. House cafeteria during the Iraq War when France refused to support U.S. actions in the region.
"This has to be a joke. (Remember freedom fries?)" Inslee, who has focused his campaign for president on combating the global threat of climate change, wrote on Twitter.
"Freedom gas? Freedom is generally good, but freedom from glaciers, freedom from clean air, freedom from healthy forests that aren't on fire, and freedom from the world we know and cherish is not what we seek," he added.
Freedom gas? Freedom is generally good, but freedom from glaciers, freedom from clean air, freedom from healthy forests that aren't on fire, and freedom from the world we know and cherish is not what we seek.— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) May 29, 2019