The semiconductor industry and other industrial and scientific users of helium support legislation to address the helium supply, and we urge Congress to make this a priority. The timing will be critical. Because of the need to secure supply contracts and ship helium for use at semiconductor fabrication facilities as well as other facilities, legislation must be enacted into law early this year to keep the Federal Helium Reserve operating as normal. However, this is not something that can be addressed at the eleventh hour. Users of helium must have some assurances now in order to secure continuous supplies for future operations, research and manufacturing.
Every day Congress faces numerous complex and contentious challenges, but this isnít one of them. This is an easy problem to fix. Congress must act promptly by enacting legislation to address the helium supply.
Brian Toohey is president and CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association, the voice of the U.S. semiconductor industry in Washington, D.C.
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.