A Tuesday press release from the Department of Energy authorizing new natural gas exports referred to the gas as "freedom gas," a signal of how the Department views domestic natural gas production as a tool to spread prosperity and liberty.

The release announced the Department's approval of new foreign exports of natural gas from a terminal owned and managed by natural gas company Freeport LNG located on Texas' Quintana Island.

"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," Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes said in a statement included in the release.

Later on in the release, Steven Winberg, who serves as the Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, additionally characterised the gas as "molecules of freedom."

"With the US 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 US freedom to be exported to the world," he said.

Domestic natural gas production has boomed in recent years, largely thanks to the uptick in hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" of gas contained in shale rock formations, with Texas leading the pack. US domestic natural gas production hit an all-time record-high rate in 2018, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

Energy Secretary and former Texas Governor Rick Perry has frequently characterised US natural gas as a mechanism to spread economic prosperity and freedom, but Tuesday's release marked the first time a US energy official used the term "freedom gas" interchangeably with natural gas, according to Politico energy reporter Ben Lefebvre.

At the 2018 Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Perry framed the recent boom in US production as a way for European nations to reduce their dependence on oil from the Middle East, as well as strengthen the US-European alliance.

"We're exporting to our allies in Europe the opportunity to truly have a choice of where do you buy your energy from. That's freedom. And that kind of freedom is priceless," Perry said in an interview with Fox Business, calling it the "most dynamic shift" in the energy environment "since World War II," according to The Hill.

"There's no strings attached when you buy American. So that's world-changing," Perry added.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

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