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1 abolitionist  Fri, Sep 20, 2013 4:05:32pm

Found a somewhat informative article:

Helium shortage: U.S. supply in danger if Congress doesn’t act
By Marinda Li Wu

Perhaps they thought they had until October.


Since 1925, with the passage of the Helium Conservation Act, the U.S. government has played a significant role in producing, refining and storing helium.

National defense was the motivation as helium was used for military dirigibles and other classified applications. In 1996, Congress directed that the helium business should be privatized and set a date of Sept. 30, 2013, for the U.S. to withdraw from the expensive and delicate business of extracting helium.

Now, political stalemate and miscommunication have created this urgent situation.

Further, in an Aug. 22 letter to its customers, Praxair writes: “The BLM has notified Praxair of its preliminary contingency plans in the event funding expires by Oct. 7. According to the BLM, this will necessarily involve shutting down the CHEU (crude helium enrichment unit) and production wells as early as September 15, 2013, followed by a drawdown of the BLM pipeline.”

Bolding is mine. Another link: Helium

2 wheat-dogghazi  Sat, Sep 21, 2013 1:01:50am
Otoh, the average tea party congress-shill probably thinks you can synthesize helium from coal tar or something.

Assuming they even know what helium is. The religious TPers probably believe God would never let us run short of helium, or petroleum, so there must be a limitless supply underground somewhere.

Seriously, some religious nuts believe oil will continue to gush out of the ground because Godidit that way just for us.

3 SidewaysQuark  Sun, Sep 22, 2013 7:13:52pm

The more I’ve learned about our true supply of this irreplaceable, precious gas, the more I cringe when I see it loaded into disposable party balloons. I fear future generations will not look fondly upon us for this.

4 Carlos Danger  Sun, Sep 22, 2013 8:13:08pm

The market has no incentive to preserve helium supplies in the national interest.

I guess Republicans are hoping tomorrow’s corrupt helium barons vote their way, I guess.

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