The US Department of Energy (DOE) recently renamed US liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports “freedom gas.” But freedom for who? For Europe who already has a cheap and reliable source of natural gas, but is being forced to switch over to more expensive US gas under the threat of sanctions? Certainly not.
Or freedom for Russia who supplies Europe with much of its natural gas to compete openly and fairly with the United States? Most definitely not.
Or is it freedom from competition for the US? Yes, indeed.
It is often contradictory branding that heralds various chapters of US injustice at home (under the draconian “Patriot Act” for example) and abroad, such as during the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq carried out under the dubious name of “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
Not the Onion
So discredited have US campaigns christened in the name of “freedom” become, that few scarcely believed the US was actually, seriously calling its natural gas exports “freedom gas.” However, it is not a headline torn from the pages of the satirical newspaper “The Onion,” but rather from the US DOE itself.
In an article from the DOE’s official website titled, “Department of Energy Authorizes Additional LNG Exports from Freeport LNG,” the DOE states (emphasis added):
“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,” said U.S. Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes, who highlighted the approval at the Clean Energy Ministerial in Vancouver, Canada. “There’s no doubt today’s announcement furthers this Administration’s commitment to promoting energy security and diversity worldwide.”
Aside from the almost comical reference to “freedom gas,” there is something else revealing about the DOE’s claims of “giving America’s allies a diverse and affordable source of clean energy.”
This is in direct reference to Europe, and Europe’s current imports of Russian gas. Russian gas, delivered by pipelines to Europe will always be cheaper than US liquefied natural gas transported by sea to Europe.