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  •  A drilling rig on a lease owned by Oasis Petroleum performs logging operations in the Permian Basin near Wink, Texas U.S. August 22, 2018.

    A drilling rig on a lease owned by Oasis Petroleum performs logging operations in the Permian Basin near Wink, Texas U.S. August 22, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 29 May 2019

This is not the first time the Trump administration has decided to use the concept of freedom as a marketing gimmick. 

Forget Freedom Fries, the United States (U.S) has rolled out something even grander. Department of Energy (DOE) officials decided Wednesday to change the nomenclature of natural gas produced domestically to "freedom gas," made up of "molecules of U.S. freedom,” in a clear bid to up the nationalistic discourse. 

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Undersecretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes, referred to natural gas this way in a press release about the DOE’s approval of increased exports to Europe of natural gas produced by a Freeport LNG terminal off the coast of Texas.

"Increasing export capacity is critical to spreading freedom gas throughout the world,” read Menezes’ statement.

Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg went a step further by adding 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.”

This is not the first time the Trump administration has decided to use the concept of freedom as a marketing gimmick. 

Back in 2018, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, went to the World Economic Forum in Davos to say that his country “is not just exporting energy, we’re exporting freedom. We’re exporting to our allies in Europe to truly have a choice of where you buy your energy from. That’s freedom and that kind of freedom is priceless.”

Putting the amusement of this rebranding aside, the U.S. appears to be trying to wriggle into a Russia-dominated market. Russia has become the largest exporter of oil and natural gas to the European Union (EU). According to Eurostat, 30 percent of the EU's oil imports and 39 percent of total gas imports came from Russia in 2017. 

State-owned company Gazprom reported in December 2018 that Russian gas exports to Europe reached a record high in 2018 despite both growing diplomatic tensions with the U.S. and the EU’s push to reduce their dependence on that country. The Nord Stream project that links Russia and the EU proves it. At 1,222 kilometers long, it is the longest sub-sea pipeline in the world, and its planned capacity will double to 110 billion cubic meters by 2019.

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