Sidney Herald: Sen. Tester airs support for preserving nation’s helium supply

Tester is backing a bipartisan bill that would allow the Federal Helium Reserve to continue selling helium to meet the needs of businesses and the scientific community. Currently, the reserve is required to sell off all of its crude helium by Oct. 1, which would force businesses and manufacturers to depend on less reliable foreign suppliers.

The Federal Helium Reserve supplies nearly half of the nation’s helium and one-third of worldwide demand. Helium is a critical component in MRI machines, semi-conducting chips and aerospace equipment.

“Businesses need helium to operate everything from high-speed internet to life-saving medical equipment,” Tester said. “This common-sense bill will make sure Montana businesses can reliably access helium so they can keep us healthy, grow their companies and create jobs.”