As a company, we use 5.5 million liters of helium a year at our South Carolina production facility and dedicate another 6 million liters per year servicing MRI systems at hospitals across the U.S. We are investing more than $18 million this year alone in a new helium recycling facility and other efficiency measures ó including proprietary conservation technologies and helium reuse methods. And our researchers at GEís Global Research Centers are exploring new magnet designs and innovative cooling techniques, all in preparation for a near future where helium demand outpaces supply.
The costs of inaction or delay by Congress would be damaging to our nationís manufacturing and high-tech economy. Yet with prompt action on this key legislation, we can avert the helium cliff, empower physicians to best diagnose and treat patients using MRI and help keep the U.S. economy strong.
Richard Hausmann, Ph.D., is president and CEO of Magnetic Resonance for GE Healthcare.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.