Trump's US Department of Energy Renames Fossil Fuel Products as 'Freedom Gas'

Apparently, this is the modern-day equivalent to the Bush administration’s “freedom fries.”

SunCor Energy Refinery
Denver Post via Getty Images—Copyright - 2019 The Denver Post, MediaNews Group.

The United States Department of Energy echoed one of the silliest acts in modern American politics by formally attempting to rebrand fossil fuel-derived products as "freedom gas." 

In this case, they're talking specifically about liquid natural gas.

"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," stated Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes in a USDOE release on Tuesday.

A single out-of-place reference to "freedom" could be easily dismissed as a joke, but USDOE officials used the term to describe natural gas twice in the release.

"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," added Steven Winberg, assistant secretary for fossil energy.

This grandiose attempt at rebranding the fossil fuel that is natural gas as a patriotic product despite ongoing worldwide debate over the suitability and supply of fossil fuels mirrors a 2003 attempt by members of the Bush administration to change the name of french fries. Then Chairman of the Committee on House Administration, Bob Ney, had Congressional cafeterias rebrand french fries as "freedom fries" out of spite for France's lack of support for the occupation of Iraq.

This act spawned a short-lived, top-down political movement in the U.S., but it largely subsided after "freedom fries" were removed from Congressional cafeteria menus in 2006. Acknowledgment of the movement abroad was limited; French officials took zero offense, pointing out that french fries were actually a Belgian invention. Expect this new "freedom gas" moniker to see similar levels of success...meaning a lack thereof.

h/t: Ars Technica