Semiconductor Industry Representative Testifies in Support of Legislation to Secure Helium Supply
Rodney Morgan, vice president of procurement at Micron Technology, explains heliumís importance to semiconductor manufacturing at House Natural Resources Committee hearing
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Feb. 14, 2013—The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), representing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and design, today testified before the House Natural Resources Committee in support of legislation to secure the supply of helium, a critical gas used in the semiconductor manufacturing process as well as other types of advanced manufacturing and scientific research. During a hearing titled, “The Past, Present and Future of the Federal Helium Program,” Rodney Morgan – vice president of procurement at SIA member Micron Technology – explained helium’s essential applications for semiconductor manufacturing, outlined the dangers of a helium shortage, and urged Congress to promptly approve legislation to secure the supply of helium.
“Helium is used to achieve ultra-clean manufacturing and assembly environments that are essential for advanced semiconductor manufacturing,” Morgan said. “Although the semiconductor industry consumes only a small amount of the overall quantity of helium used today, it remains a critical, irreplaceable input into our manufacturing process.”
Under existing law, sales of helium to private entities from the Federal Helium Reserve will cease in late 2013, and legislation is needed urgently to continue to allow the supply from the Reserve to be sold for industrial and research purposes. By allowing the Reserve to continue to operate, Congress can alleviate the supply shortages and inject approximately $350 million annually to the federal treasury, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates.
Last week, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) and Ranking Member Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced H.R. 527, the Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act, to address the helium shortage.
Morgan, testifying on behalf of Micron and SIA, noted that the industry is already facing supply shortages and urged swift congressional action to help secure the supply of helium.
“It is important and urgently needed that the House act on legislation to address the helium supply,” Morgan said. “We applaud Chairman Hastings and Ranking Member Markey for their work on this bill, and we urge the full House to consider the legislation soon.”
Video of the hearing is available here: http://naturalresources.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=319225
Morgan's complete testimony is available here.
About the SIA
The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) is the voice of the U.S. semiconductor industry, one of America's top export industries and a key driver of America’s economic strength, national security and global competitiveness. Semiconductors – microchips that control all modern electronics – enable the systems and products that we use to work, communicate, travel, entertain, harness energy, treat illness, and make new scientific discoveries.
The semiconductor industry directly employs nearly a quarter of a million people in the U.S. In 2011, U.S. semiconductor sales totaled more than $150 billion, and semiconductors make the global trillion dollar electronics industry possible. Founded in 1977 by five microelectronics pioneers, SIA unites companies that account for 80 percent of America’s semiconductor production. Through this coalition, SIA seeks to strengthen U.S. leadership of semiconductor design and manufacturing by working with Congress, the Administration and other key industry stakeholders to encourage policies and regulations that fuel innovation, propel business and drive international competition. Learn more at www.sia-online.org.