3 votes

What in the world is this Helium ruling in Congress?

Can someone explain this to me?? I got it from Megavote..

Federal Helium Sales – Suspension Vote - Vote Passed (394-1, 37 Not Voting)

In its final action of the week, the House passed a bill creating a framework for winding down operation of the Federal Helium Reserve. Under current law, the Reserve is mandated to cease commercial helium sales once it pays off its debt, which is expected to occur by October 2013. According to the House Natural Resources committee, the scheduled closure would cut domestic helium supplies in half. H.R. 527 would keep the reserve open with new operating instructions until its capacity is 3 billion cubic feet (down from 10 billion cubic feet at present), at which time commercial sales will no longer be authorized and remaining supplies will only be available for national security and scientific needs. Neither the administration nor Senate leaders have staked out positions on the measure.

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shortage of helium ???

Wait till all the airheads in congress sell off their hoards.

Maybe this will help :)


"Take hold of the future or the future will take hold of you." -- Patrick Dixon

Thanks so much for all of

Thanks so much for all of this info. I never knew the government sold helium. Weapons, helium, wonder what else we are paying them to set up little departments to sell stuff?? I had no idea helium was in short supply..tyvm.

This is good

Basically, the government buys and stockpiles Helium from a Federal program that started a long time ago. This is a vote to wind down the program so they stop buying it, storing it, and then later reselling it.

Actually a vote for LESS government for once, as I understand it.

Eric Hoffer

On Earth, helium is in short supply.

I've heard crystallographers that use helium for their research that they get sick every time they see a party balloon.

Helium shortage. Good article here.


Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

Helium supplies are extremely controlled by government action.

The reason why is that helium mining operations work on a 'on or off' model for their helium-extraction processes. Helium is the smallest element which escapes from most containment fairly quickly, except for high-pressure deep-cooled helium.

Helium is also a vital war supply, hence the federal government's large involvement in the market as a buyer.

Also, the U.S. does not produce much helium of its own, but must seek suppliers abroad.

(will fact-check this - it is from memory of a national public radio report from a few years back)

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.


Don't think this is accurate. There's been a general shortage of Helium lately, and basically people used to be able to buy cheap Helium out of the Federal Helium Reserve. They're basically selling it all off and getting out of the Helium business.

This was started back when we were still looking at blimps for warfare. There is no need for this much Helium for wartime use anyone.

In the past, it's been kept artificially cheap due to the government involvement, they price will be rising as they get out until new Helium distillation operations start producing.

EDIT: Helium isn't the smallest btw, that honor goes to Hydrogen.

Eric Hoffer