WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Balloon Council, a national trade organization of balloon manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers, applauded Congress for making progress toward preventing a shutdown of the Federal Helium Reserve, which would severely impact the helium market and disrupt the helium supply chain nationwide. The Balloon Council released its statement at the House Natural Resources Committee Oversight Hearing held today on "The Past, Present and Future of the Federal Helium Program" and a Legislative Hearing on H.R. 527, the Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act.
"The Balloon Council supports Congress and the House Natural Resources Committee for recognizing the seriousness and urgency to maintain uninterrupted and stable access to the helium supply in the face of an impending shutdown of the Federal Helium Reserve mandated by current law," said Noah Lichtman, spokesman for the Balloon Council.
"A stable helium supply is critical to several important industries in the United States, including the balloon industry which accounts for more than 100,000 jobs from balloon manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Congress is demonstrating a commitment to address these issues in order to develop legislation that recognizes the value of each industry impacted by the helium market," continued Lichtman."It is particularly significant to have held this hearing on Valentine's Day – the day with the highest balloon sales annually. Retailers across the United States have lost significant business this Valentine's Day due to the current helium shortage. The severe economic loss felt this year to the 100,000 Americans who work in the balloon industry would be repeated to a greater extreme in the absence of congressional action to continue the federal government's operation of the reserve to ensure stability and predictability in the helium market," said Lichtman. FOR FURTHER DETAILS Noah Lichtman (973) 799-0200 x8287 firstname.lastname@example.org