April 25, 2013
Hi-Tech Manufacturers Call for Passage of H.R. 527
April 25, 2013
Over 20 organizations representing hi-tech manufacturers of semiconductors, aerospace technologies, life-saving medical devices, chemicals, fiber optics, and scientific researchers are calling for passage of H.R. 527, the Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act. These organizations employ millions of Americans and represent a crucial sector of the U.S. economy.
From high-tech manufacturing to hospitals and scientific labs – our economy in the 21st century is dependent on helium. Helium is essential to the manufacturing of computer chips and fiber optic cables, is used by hospitals for life-saving medical tests like an MRI, and is critical to national defense efforts.
H.R. 527 is a bipartisan effort which passed through the Natural Resources Committee by unanimous consent. The legislation would prevent the closure of the Federal Helium Reserve, which by law is scheduled to close in October of this year resulting in a 30 percent reduction in the global helium supply and a 50 reduction in the domestic market.
According to a letter from 23 organizations including the Semiconductor Industry Association, the Information Technology Industry Council, the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance, Dow, GE, Intel, IBM, Siemens, and Micron “legislation is urgently needed to authorize the Reserve to continue sales of helium to private users and avoid damage to critical sectors of the American economy. The legislation would create a market-based approach with increased transparency for the helium program, while at the same time adding hundreds of millions to the federal Treasury. Time is of the essence to address the helium supply and avoid a needless disruption to America’s economy and scientific research. An important and positive step forward toward addressing this issue would be House passage of H.R. 527.”
I strongly encourage you to support H.R. 527. Please contact Tim Charters with the Natural Resources Committee Majority Staff or Morgan Gray with the Natural Resources Committee Minority Staff if you have any questions.
Doc Hastings (WA-04)
House Committee on Natural Resources