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Industry Orgs. Warn US that CO2 Shortage May Be Looming

April 20, 2020

4 Min Read
Industry Orgs. Warn US that CO2 Shortage May Be Looming
Industry groups are warning US lawmakers that a shortage of CO2 may occur unless steps are taken to protect the supply. Image courtesy of Pixabay

Leaders of the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) and several major food and beverage trade groups recently sent a letter to US Vice President Mike Pence warning the federal government of a potential shortage of carbon dioxide (CO2) created by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A CGA-led industry coalition – which includes the North American Meat Institute the National Cattleman’s Beef Association, the Brewers Association, and the National Pork Producers Council – warned lawmakers that interruptions to CO2 supply could impair food and beverage producers and other industries. The groups are asking the federal government for temporary emergency assistance to create incentives for companies to reopen manufacturing plants where CO2 is captured.  

“Many industrial manufacturers have already idled their plants due to diminished demand leading to a decrease in CO2 access for industrial gas suppliers,” the organizations wrote in the letter. “Thus, certain industrial gas companies have been forced to ration available CO2 products amongst essential business users, including food and beverage manufacturing plants”

US officials were warned that CO2 production of could drop by 50% by the middle of April If measures are not taken immediately to reopen shuttered production facilities, protect sites that are still in operation, and prevent further plant shutdowns. The authors said a number of “essential” industries like food processing, beverage production, chemical supply chains, and renewable fuel development are vulnerable to production interruptions if a CO2 shortage occurs.

“Without stable sources of CO2 across the nation, these food and beverage manufacturers will be unable to operate at capacity, leading to shortages for Americans of the important goods they depend on, especially during the COVID-19 crisis,” the letter said. 

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