US energy department rebrands gas exports 'molecules of freedom'

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The US has announced its plans to "spread freedom gas throughout the world"

US energy officials appeared to rebrand natural gas produced in the country as "freedom gas", in a statement announcing an increase in exports.

The US Department of Energy said the expansion of a Texas facility meant more "molecules of US freedom" could be produced and exported worldwide.

The facility, based in Quintana, produces liquified natural gas (LNG).

The move was a clear indication of US commitment to promoting clean energy, the statement said.

But the rebranding comes amid a Trump administration push to roll back climate change legislation introduced by Mr Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, which targeted vehicle emissions.

Shortly after taking office, Mr Trump announced the US would withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate change agreement, saying that he wanted to negotiate a new "fair" deal that would not disadvantage US businesses and workers.

The move was decried by climate change scientists and campaigners, and Mr Trump has faced accusations of hampering global efforts to cut carbon emissions.

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Wednesday's announced expansion of the facility on Quintana Island will support some 3,000 new jobs in the area, according to the Department of Energy statement.

"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," Mark Menezes, the US undersecretary of energy, said.

The term freedom gas is reminiscent of freedom fries, coined in the US 2003 as an alternative to French fries following France's opposition to the US invasion of Iraq.

Republican congressman Walter B Jones and his fellow Republican Robert W Ney also pushed for cafeterias in the House of Representatives to rename their French toast "freedom toast".

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