Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"GE, Siemens Plead with Lawmakers to Preserve Federal Helium Reserve"

Nice to see the kids playing together.

The thing to do is follow the current law and halt sales. Allow the price to trade where it will, then offer to sell from the reserve at that price.
I'm sure true blue believers in the market economy like Jeff Immelt would heartily concur.
From The Hill:
Helium, the gas behind party favors and high-pitched voices, has become serious business for K Street.
Lobbyists for computer-chip manufacturers, medical device makers and the balloon industry are pleading with Congress to continue helium sales from a federal reserve. They say the extension is critical for scientific research and industrial production at a time when helium is in scarce supply.

If the reserve were to shut down, as expected in late 2013, about 30 percent of the world’s helium supply would go offline — causing further supply disruptions and higher prices.
That’s a deflating prospect for corporate giants like General Electric (GE), Intel, Siemens and Texas Instruments that depend on helium to produce and run their products.

“I don't think many members of Congress know much about helium beyond party balloons. We are educating members that this is an important issue for the semi-conductor industry as well as other industries and the scientific community,” said David Isaacs, vice president of government affairs for the Semiconductor Industry Association. “This is something that can and must get done urgently.

So urgent, in fact, that deadline for extending helium sales has earned the dreaded “cliff” moniker.
Unless Congress acts, "America will float off a helium cliff. Pun intended,” said Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee at a hearing on Thursday that was devoted do the issue....MORE
As we said in December's "Helium prices balloon as supplies run out":
Every couple years we run a story similar to this. Because of the physics and chemistry helium is one of the few irreplaceable elements. But...and that's a big but...if you want to make the big money go for the isotope, Helium 3 rather than straight up He, you'll make a fortune in the electricity biz....
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