Oversight Hearing on "The Past, Present and Future of the Federal Helium Program" and Legislative Hearing on H.R. 527
Thursday, February 14, 2013 10:00 AM
Full Committee
1324 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515


Oversight Hearing on:

  • "The Past, Present and Future of the Federal Helium Program"

And Legislative Hearing on:

  • H.R. 527 (Hastings of WA, Markey, Flores, and Holt), To complete the privatization of the Federal helium reserve in a competitive market fashion that ensures stability in the helium markets while protecting the interests of the American taxpayer, and for other purposes. "Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act"

Member Statements:

The Honorable Doc Hastings
Chairman

Witnesses and Testimony:

PANEL I

Tim Spisak
Deputy Assistant Director
Minerals and Realty Management
Bureau of Land Management
Department of the Interior

Daniel Garcia-Diaz
Director
National Resources and Environment
U.S. Government Accountability Office

Kimberly Elmore
Assistant Inspector General for Audits, Inspections, and Evaluations
U.S. Department of the Interior

PANEL II

Rodney Morgan
VP of Procurement
Micron Technology
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Brad Boersen
Director, Strategic Planning & Analysis for Optical Fiber
Corning Incorporated
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Gary Page
President
Helium & Balloons Across America
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Dr. Sam Aronson
Vice President
APS Physics
(Truth in Testimony Form)

PANEL III

David Joyner
President
Air Liquide Helium America, Inc.
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Tom Thoman
Division President – Gases Production
Airgas, Inc.
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Kevin Lynch
Senior Vice President
Specialty Gases & Helium
Matheson Tri-Gas
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Walter Nelson
Director, Sourcing & Supply Chain
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Nick Haines
Head Global Helium Source Development
Linde North America
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Scott Kaltrider
Vice President, Business Management and Helium
Praxair, Inc.
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Background:

This hearing will focus on the existing U.S. demand for helium, the future of the federally owned helium reserve, and the impact the eventual closure of the U.S. reserve would have on the U.S. scientific, technical, medical, and defense industries that depend upon helium for manufacturing and research. Originally created as a federal helium extraction and purification plant, the BLM reserve is today managed in a single reservoir and pipeline system located in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. The Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act (H.R. 527) is a common sense plan to prevent the closure of the Federal Helium Reserve, which by law is scheduled to close later this year resulting in a 30% reduction in the global helium supply. This bipartisan legislation would sell helium from the Federal Helium Reserve in a responsible manner to prevent shortages, protect jobs and the economy, and ensure a fairer return for taxpayers.

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