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Month: September 2013

Keeping the Ball in the Air

Keeping the Ball in the Air

Last evening (Sept. 25) the House passed 397-0 an amended version of legislation to keep the Federal Helium Reserve (FHR) operating beyond Oct. 7 and to reform the way in which the Department of the Interior sells crude helium stored in the Reserve to the private sector. The House took a bill that passed the Senate last week by a 97-2 vote, moved some of the numbers around to bring it into compliance with the House-passed FY2014 Budget Resolution, and moved up by one year the sale of the Read more [...]
Shaheen-Portman Bill Pulled from Senate Floor

Shaheen-Portman Bill Pulled from Senate Floor

For a while there, the Senate was debating the premier energy efficiency bill, offering amendments, and displaying the bipartisan consensus there is around this legislation (S. 1392, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act).  But debate came to a stand still hours after it started, mainly over (surprise!) disgreement about which unrelated amendments should be allowed to be offered.  As the days passed, the window of opportunity began to close for now.  The Senate Read more [...]
Moving Forward on Minerals

Moving Forward on Minerals

Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives passed, for the second year in a row, a bill to streamline federal laws to facilitate projects to extract critical minerals from the Earth's crust. What makes these minerals critical, you ask? Many minerals, including but not limited to so-called "rare earth elements", are critical inputs for NEMA member companies. For many of these inputs, U.S. manufacturers are dependent on uncertain sources outside the U.S. The National Strategic Read more [...]
Action Needed Now on Helium

Action Needed Now on Helium

As it debates a NEMA-backed energy bill, the Senate is also poised to vote as early as today on NEMA-supported compromise legislation to extend the life of the Federal Helium Reserve in Texas and provide greater certainty of supply to companies whose businesses rely on access to the noble gas. As NEMA and a broad coalition of stakeholders explained in a letter to Capitol Hill leaders earlier this week, time is running out for Congress to avoid exacerbating the already serious helium supply Read more [...]