Freedom (Gas) isn’t Free

(Molecules of freedom! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In a bizarre literary crime, an official Department of Energy news release is touting exports of liquefied fracked gas (LNG) as “molecules of freedom.”

The U.S. Ministry of Truth is peddling long-term fossil fuel contracts as “freedom.”

This super-cooled fossil fuel is one of several last ditch hopes for an over-leveraged fracked gas industry deep in over-supply, debt, and declining prices.

Of course, pushing our petroleum products to oversea users, shipping “Freedom Gas” to Asia and Europe, would not happen apart from the rest of the energy market, or be exempt from climate reality. Which is to say, Freedom Gas isn’t free.

Shipping fracked LNG to foreign markets will likely raise the cost for U.S. consumers. Back when markets mattered to conservatives, this is when they might remind us that such is just “Economics 101.”

Nor is fracked gas, and expanding fossil fuel infrastructure, and locking in twenty-year fracked gas contracts good for the climate, or even a good investment. Scientists mostly agree that we must act with unprecedented urgency to get off fossil fuels as quickly as possible. That any and all delay merely postpones and increases the cost and burden that will be paid.

In other words, with “Freedom Gas” Americans would pay more now AND pay more later. Which is to say the administration’s claim is just a bleat of hot air. And its a real stinker.

12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. mamajama55 says:

    Does this have a local angle? That is, is it related to the bizarre scheme to plunder the Piceance basin and build a pipeline to Jordan Cove in Oregon, thence overseas?

    Sounds like there are some slick salesmen double talking to push this project before people have time to look closely at it. 

    I wonder which shill came up with "molecules of freedom".And what the conversation was to approve it.

  2. PKolbenschlag says:

    It's a sugar plum dream, plundering the Piceance, as Pembina' s priority is pushing Canadian gas, also abundant, also "land locked," also uneconomical without some subsidized life-line from eager lobbyists-cum-regulators. So in that last sense, it's connected, indicative of where this administration is at; but not directly. 

  3. Diogenesdemar says:

    Funny thing about science . . . 

    . . . while ‘Merica tries to peddle its denial and poison, the rest of the science-studying world is rapidly moving to “Winds of Freedom” and “Photons of Freedom” . . .

    . . . maybe folks in those shithole countries will be interested in some discounted MAGAwear instead??!

    ”. . . and the truth shall set you free.”

    . . . Same as it ever was, same as it ever was . . .

  4. SMH! Can I dream that this was made up by some rebellious PR person?

  5. MichaelBowman says:

    Are they getting this Freedumb gas from consuming the lard-drenched, left-over Freedumb fries from their last patriot mission?!?

  6. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    No doubt that the push towards renewables is gaining momentum world-wide. A new example: last month down in Atlanta, the CEO of big energy conglomerate Southern Co. learned that the board plans to link his pay to further cuts in greenhouse gases.

    At the same time, many of our allies, particularly in Western Europe, are dependent on natural gas imports from Russia, which Russia uses for diplomatic leverage. If LNG exports from North America can help with such situations, as allies do their own transitions, then I'm OK with it.

    (Disclosure: I heat my house with natural gas and passive solar. My electricity comes from wind. Summer cooling comes from ceiling and floor fans, not air conditioning.)

    • Duke Cox says:

      I am delighted to know that you make an effort to be conscientious about energy use.

      That said, your take on exported natgas flies directly in the face of the mantra used by the APIs' PR firm for about a decade. "Americas Energy for America" was the battle cry of the OilyBoyz. They wielded that sword against environmentalists for years. 

      What changed? Hydraulic fracturing and directional drilling. Coupled with a rapacious policy of drilling, those two things provided an enormous glut of gas. The seven or more IMPORT facilities that were planned to deal with a looming shortage, suddenly became EXPORT facilities to sell gas to the rest of the world, where significantly higher prices could be had.

      So much for the phony patriotism of the OilyBoyz…

      To quote Dio…"same as it ever was".

      • PKolbenschlag says:

        I for one am not willing to see the public lands in my watershed drilled and fracked to ship gas off to Asia, which is the primary market being eyed for LNG. Russia is in Europe, so the EU is only 'importing' it insofar as its not part of the EU (with 60% coming from non-Russian sources already as well) not because its not part of Europe. It's also US companies in several cases mining that gas, and building LNG hubs elsewhere (as well as here). IOW, fracked gas is fungible and those that extract it have no national loyalties. It is not 'Freedom Gas' unless freedom means the freedom of capital to operate at its own whim where and whenever it pleases. 

        The issue in front of us is lessening all fossil fuel consumption as rapidly as possible. A primary problem with building more LNG capacity is it locks in infrastructure and contracts for decades in a way that makes the urgent need for reduction in fossil fuel consumption less likely. Even as the costs of climate inaction skyrocket. That makes LNG a bad investment, either in the future of our climate or looking at trillion of stranded assets that might quickly lose value once we price carbon pollution, or both. (And a price for carbon pollution is coming. It will be extracted by parliaments and legislatures, or by courts and insurers, but its coming). 


        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          Remember that the Rocky Mountain Institute in Old Snowmass predicted sometime ago that the US will still get 25% of its energy needs from natural gas in 2050.

          As for Asia vs. Europe, there is a desire to export LNG also to Europe, based on my reading.

          “IOW, fracked gas is fungible…..” Reminds me of when I was participating in the Northwest Colorado Stewardship (NWCOS) in the early 2000s. Never could quite convince some of the Moffat County locals that energy is a global marketplace. Maybe their oil, gas, and coal might not have a large market if companies can get it cheaper elsewhere.

          • MichaelBowman says:

            We're constantly updating "how fast we'll get there" as technology advances.  Just 15 years ago we had Xcel Energy and the American coal industry we simply couldn't live without coal-fired power and that any renewable energy in our grid would make it unstable.  The changed we'll see in the next 15 years will make the last 15 look like we were using an Abacus for our mathematical projections. 

            • PKolbenschlag says:

              US fracked gas processed into and then shipped as LNG, is at a geographic and cost disadvantage compared to onshore gas from Europe, or even Eurasia.

              In a market where resources are fungible, it further points to the economic risk, especially projected out decades in order to recoup costs. 



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