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Air Products Helium Director Testifies Before Senate On Pending Helium Bill

LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Air Products (NYSE: APD) director of Helium Sourcing and Supply Chain, Walter Nelson, testified today before the United States Senate on pending S. 783, the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013, to reform and reauthorize private helium sales from the federal helium reservoir.  Nelson told the Senate that Air Products, the global leader in helium production, supports the proposed bill because it accomplishes the goals of maximizing the return to the United States taxpayer, ensuring the reliability of supply for end users, honoring contract and property rights, and it does this without disrupting the helium supply chains.

"The world helium markets are in a state of transition and uncertainty, and the world's current largest supply – the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) reservoir – is in decline.  Significant new sources are coming online, but there have been repeated delays.  Shortages are creating tremendous volatility in the spot markets," Nelson told the Senate. "This is not the type of environment to experiment with wholesale, untested changes in the world's most stable source of supply – the BLM Reserve.  This environment calls for level-headed reforms that are phased in incrementally.  That is exactly the approach you have taken.  Your bill would ensure that taxpayers get a fair market price for the government's helium, while preserving much of the stability that has benefited consumers and high-tech manufacturers across the country."

Click here to view Nelson's full written testimony to the Senate.

Air Products has pioneered many of the helium extraction, production, distribution and storage technologies used in the industry today. Air Products maintains the world's largest helium production and distribution system and operates numerous facilities around the world.

Helium is used in many unique and valued applications including: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); lifting for high altitude scientific research balloons, blimps and party balloons; fiber optics and semiconductor manufacturing; metallurgy; breathing atmospheres for deep diving or unique blood gas medical mixtures; analytical chemistry; pressurizing and purging pipes, vessels, and other critical equipment; leak detection; and other advanced applications.

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