Ask Congress to Address Helium Crisis

Call Congress's attention to the recommendation that APS leadership recently made in a letter to the House and Senate regarding the need for continued access to the Federal Helium Reserve after the anticipated closure date of September 30, 2022.

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Liquid helium is the professional lifeblood of tens of thousands of scientists and engineers across America’s discovery and innovation landscape, including universities, industries, and national laboratories.

For the past several years, academic researchers have experienced unsustainable price increases and unreliable delivery of liquid helium. According to an APS survey of helium users nationwide, for example, the average price of liquid helium increased by nearly 25% from 2018 to 2019; some researchers’ prices tripled during that time.

To help address this crisis, Congress should ensure that federal users, including researchers supported by federal grants, maintain access to the helium marked for federal use remaining in the Federal Helium Reserve after September 30, 2022—the date by which the General Services Administration will complete their disposal process. Based on current projections, the Reserve contains enough helium to meet the needs of federal users for the next decade or longer.

Take action to help ensure that federally sponsored researchers have the stable supply of affordable helium necessary to fuel the US scientific enterprise.

The Impact of Personalized Emails

Although personalizing your email with your own experiences and anecdotes may take a few extra minutes, research shows that it is well worth the time. According to a Congressional Management Foundation survey, individualized emails are the second most effective method overall for positively influencing a member’s decision on an issue. Individualized email messages are also 64% more effective than form email messages.

Furthermore, 83% of congressional staff surveyed said that it would take more than 50 form emails for them to consider taking the action requested. On the other hand, 70% of staff said that it would take less than 50 personalized emails for them to consider taking action. We encourage you to personalize your emails to Congressional members in order to maximize the impact of your voice.

If your Congress member has not already arrived at a firm decision on an issue, which of the following advocacy strategies might have a positive influence on his/her decision?

How many emails are needed before you consider taking the requested action?