WHO COULD POSSIBLY HAVE FORESEEN…
NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Dwindling supplies of carbon dioxide from ethanol plants are sparking concern about shortages of beer, soda and seltzer water – essentials for many quarantined Americans.
Brewers and soft-drink makers use carbon dioxide, or CO2, for carbonation, which gives beer and soda fizz. Ethanol producers are a key provider of CO2 to the food industry, as they capture that gas as a byproduct of ethanol production and sell it in large quantities.
But ethanol, which is blended into the nation’s gasoline supply, has seen production fall sharply due to the drop in gasoline demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gasoline demand is down by more than 30% in the United States.
Honestly, I’d greatly prefer that ethanol production end altogether myself. But that’s probably just me. I’m a heartless, uncaring bastard like that.
The lack of ethanol output is disrupting this highly specialized corner of the food industry, as 34 of the 45 U.S. ethanol plants that sell CO2 have idled or cut production, said Renewable Fuels Association Chief Executive Geoff Cooper.
In an April 7 letter to Vice President Mike Pence, the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) said production of CO2 had fallen about 20% and could be down by 50% by mid-April without relief, CGA CEO Rich Gottwald said in the letter. Meat producers are also feeling the pinch, as they use CO2 in processing, packaging, preservation and shipment.
But yeah, y’all politician and bureau-rat supergenii just go ahead on fucking with incomprehensibly complex shit. You got this, right?
I care not a whit about the beer, but must assure one and all that the day the CO2 shortage forces me to go without my ration of this is the day the killing spree begins.