House Committee Approves Legislation to Secure Helium Supply

Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013, 12:00am

by David Isaacs, Vice President, Government Affairs

On March 20, the House Natural Resources Committee voted to approve the “Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act” (HR 527), a bipartisan bill that would address the impending cessation of sales of helium from the Federal Helium Reserve. The legislation now awaits action on the House floor, which will likely be scheduled sometime next month.

Meanwhile, a draft version of comparable Senate legislation was released on March 22 by Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Prompt passage of helium legislation is necessary because the cessation of sales from the Reserve would likely exacerbate the current shortage in the helium supply, a critical gas used in semiconductor manufacturing. Last month, SIA testified before the House Natural Resources Committee in support of H.R. 527, and we will continue to advocate strongly on behalf of this critical legislation.