U.S. Congress Passes the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013
DANBURY, Conn. -- October 2, 2013
Through their unanimous passage of the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013 (H. Res.
527), the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives voted to avert the pending
shutdown of the Federal Helium Reserve, which would have dramatically reduced
and destabilized the global helium supply.
“The legislation passed by Congress secures the continued operation of the
reserve, maintains access to a significant percentage of the world’s helium
supply and ensures Praxair’s continued reliable delivery of helium to
customers,” said Dr. Amer Akhras, Praxair’s general manager, Helium and Rare
Gases. “We thank all of the members of the House and Senate who have worked
diligently alongside helium refiners, distributors and end users to pass this
The Act institutes a sales program with a transitional auction component that
carefully winds down the Federal Helium Reserve. Provisions in the bill
safeguard against supply chain disruptions, which could arise as an unintended
consequence of an auction. As the Bureau of Land Management enters into
rule-making, it will be necessary for those leading the process to develop
guidelines in a manner consistent with the intentions of the bill.
Praxair has been an active participant in the Federal Helium Program since its
inception, refining helium purchased from the reserve and distributing it to
private and U.S. government end users in the medical, automotive and
technology sectors. Helium is an essential component in the manufacture and
operation of MRI machines, semiconductors, fiber optic cables and automotive
Praxair, Inc., a Fortune 250 company with 2012 sales of $11 billion, is the
largest industrial gases company in North and South America and one of the
largest worldwide. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric,
process and specialty gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair
products, services and technologies are making our planet more productive by
bringing efficiency and environmental benefits to a wide variety of
industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics,
energy, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and many others. More information
about Praxair, Inc. is available at www.praxair.com.
Lisa Esneault, 203-837-2448
Kelcey Hoyt, 203-837-2118
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