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Congress votes to keep helium program
UPI ^ | April 27, 2013 at 12:40 AM | UPI

Posted on 04/27/2013 5:26:38 AM PDT by haffast

WASHINGTON, April 27 (UPI) -- The U.S. House voted overwhelmingly to keep the Federal Helium Program, set up after World War I to guarantee U.S. dirigibles would have the gas they needed.

The vote Friday was 394-1, The Washington Post reported.

The helium program has been a target of small government advocates for decades. President Ronald Reagan wanted to eliminate it and President Bill Clinton put it on his reinventing government target list -- along with aid to beekeepers and wool producers. He succeeded in killing the latter two programs but they were revived a few years later, the Post said.

Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., said he agrees with those who say the helium program has had its day.

But he voted, like many others, to retain it for now because it supplies more than 40 percent of the country's helium.

snip


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: amarillo; dochastings; federal; reserve; texas
"U.S. Federal Helium Reserve"

Don't they print our money too?

(NITWITS!)

Shortage of helium has business impact
http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2013/01/07/Shortage-of-helium-has-business-impact/UPI-39591357591844/?rel=31451367037652

1 posted on 04/27/2013 5:26:39 AM PDT by haffast
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To: haffast

2 posted on 04/27/2013 5:27:11 AM PDT by haffast (Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new at all. -Abe Lincoln)
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To: haffast
Whew, now Hank Johnson can go back to worrying about over-populated islands.
3 posted on 04/27/2013 5:28:21 AM PDT by liberalh8ter (The only difference between flash mob 'urban yutes' and U.S. politicians is the hoodies.)
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To: haffast

This is exactly why all of Obama’s worthless “green energy” money pits will never be eliminated. Once a federal government program begins, it never ends.


4 posted on 04/27/2013 5:28:54 AM PDT by txrefugee
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To: txrefugee

5 posted on 04/27/2013 5:30:35 AM PDT by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: haffast
It will keep Guam upright.

 photo 040610pod1_zps07ede0b5.jpg
6 posted on 04/27/2013 5:30:49 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: cripplecreek

So that's what's doing it.

7 posted on 04/27/2013 5:39:29 AM PDT by haffast (Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new at all. -Abe Lincoln)
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To: txrefugee
Once a federal government program begins, it never ends.
IIRC, back in the 1920s, the gubmint placed a penny or two federal tax on gasoline to pay for the WWI veterans' bonus.
The tax was finally repealed in the 1990s.
8 posted on 04/27/2013 5:49:10 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: haffast

FWIW, helium is used for more than party balloons. Anyone who has had soft tissue damage should know this.

Liquid helium is used in high-field MRI machines to keep the superconducting magnets working. It boils off and needs to be refilled from time to time. It is getting harder to come by and has doubled in price.

It would be great if this program was privatized. But at least this government service is not running at a loss like everything else the feral giverment does.


9 posted on 04/27/2013 5:57:13 AM PDT by EricT. (Another Muslim terrorist. Who saw that coming?)
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To: EricT.

Helium stocks run low – and party balloons are to blame
Robin McKie Science Editor
The Observer, Saturday 17 March 2012
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/mar/18/helium-party-balloons-squandered


10 posted on 04/27/2013 6:07:17 AM PDT by haffast (Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new at all. -Abe Lincoln)
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To: haffast

Funding boondoggles like the strategic helium reserve is a higher priority than funding our pathetic TSA well enough to avoid flight delays. Funding today’s child-molesting TSA is a higher priority than funding actual airline security. Running ads in Mexico to educate their citizens on their “right” to food stamps in our country is a higher priority than any functional program to help unemployed Americans transition to long-term jobs. Government is not on our side or even neutral today - big government is the enemy of freedom.


11 posted on 04/27/2013 6:25:27 AM PDT by Pollster1 ("Shall not be infringed" is unambiguous.)
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To: EricT.

I don’t think people know how rare, irreplaceable, and important helium really is. It can’t be manufactured or synthesized in any practical way as of now, and it is used in many important industrial and medical processes; it isn’t easy to store either. We are lucky to have what we have!


12 posted on 04/27/2013 6:27:31 AM PDT by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is v?ery late in the day.")
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To: txrefugee
It is real hard to find any gubmint pork plan that has been eliminated in the past 100 years. 150 Years? 200 Years?
They start off as something for “the defense of the nation” or “for the children” or to “save the elderly” or something along those lines and within a generation become a self generating pork filled full blown cabinet level behemoth.
13 posted on 04/27/2013 6:37:34 AM PDT by Tupelo (The Government lies, then the media lies to cover up the government lies.)
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To: haffast

I think we have bigger fish to fry than a self-financing helium reserve.


14 posted on 04/27/2013 7:13:35 AM PDT by BobL (Look up "CSCOPE" if you want to see something really scary)
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To: The Antiyuppie

Educate us on how important helium is. The article and Hank Johnson argue that a shortage will affect the balloon industry. OMG!!!!!

Tell me why my tax dollars should subsidize the businesses that use helium. If it no longer has military purposes then why should taxpayers continue to pay for this program?


15 posted on 04/27/2013 7:18:09 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (There can be no Victory without a fight and no battle without wounds.)
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To: haffast

Sure helium has lots of industrial scientific and medical uses, but if the industry were fully privatized and prices went up there would be a great incentive for private companies to look for new sources and increase supplies or develop less costly substitutes. This is fundamental market economics but the concept is incomprehensible for the Marxist in the White House and the economic dolts in Congress.


16 posted on 04/27/2013 7:54:33 AM PDT by The Great RJ
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To: The Antiyuppie
“We are lucky to have what we have!”

Oh please! Helium is a constituent of the air we breathe. In the commercial gas business air is “liquefied” by compressing and cooling. That's how we get liquid Nitrogen, Oxygen, Argon, Helium and Hydrogen. These are commodities. The idea that the government has to be involved in any way is just ridiculous!

17 posted on 04/27/2013 8:35:52 AM PDT by vette6387
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To: haffast

There is a really good reason for the US to keep a helium, and other reserves of strategic materials. And it goes back to World War I.

There were several things that the German war machine needed to conduct aggressive war. Because they could not get helium, they had to use hydrogen gas in their airships, with predictable results.

Another thing they desperately needed was bird waste, guano, which existed in concentrated form several feet deep mostly on islands that were to home to seabirds for thousands of years.

Even before the US Civil War, congress passed the Guano Islands Act, “... that enables citizens of the U.S. to take possession of islands containing guano deposits. The islands can be located anywhere, so long as they are not occupied and not within the jurisdiction of other governments. It also empowers the President of the United States to use the military to protect such interests and establishes the criminal jurisdiction of the United States.”

Guano was an important source of nitrates for gunpowder.

The need for these nitrates was so great, that the pre-WWI German chemical industry was set the priority to figure out how to synthesize nitrates, which they finally did.

Today, however, there is almost no non-renewable resource that is not worth stockpiling. Recent issues have been with rare earth elements, platinum group metals, and yes, helium.


18 posted on 04/27/2013 8:38:21 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Best WoT news at rantburg.com)
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To: haffast

When balloons are outlawed, only outlaws will have balloons!


19 posted on 04/27/2013 8:51:12 AM PDT by AmusedBystander (The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next)
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To: vette6387

“Oh please! Helium is a constituent of the air we breathe. In the commercial gas business air is “liquefied” by compressing and cooling. That’s how we get liquid Nitrogen, Oxygen, Argon, Helium and Hydrogen. These are commodities. The idea that the government has to be involved in any way is just ridiculous!”

Didn’t take very many STEM courses, hmm?

Helium, being incredibly rare on Earth anyway (a byproduct of radioactive decay), tends to float up and out of the atmosphere. The amount you could obtain from ordinary air is vanishingly small, and would take vast processing and energy to fractionalize. Most of the helium comes from certain few oil and gas wells that happened to collect radioactive by-products from deep in the Earth (the center of the Earth contains metals, i.e., uranium, and this is where much of the natural heat of the Earth comes from).


20 posted on 04/27/2013 9:12:58 AM PDT by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is v?ery late in the day.")
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To: The Antiyuppie

“Helium, being incredibly rare on Earth anyway (a byproduct of radioactive decay), tends to float up and out of the atmosphere. The amount you could obtain from ordinary air is vanishingly small, and would take vast processing and energy to fractionalize. Most of the helium comes from certain few oil and gas wells that happened to collect radioactive by-products from deep in the Earth (the center of the Earth contains metals, i.e., uranium, and this is where much of the natural heat of the Earth comes from).”

I don’t remember if the number of wells involved is 8 or 14. Helium is rare and valuable.


21 posted on 04/27/2013 9:36:55 AM PDT by buffaloguy
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To: EricT.

FWIW, helium is used for more than party balloons.


The design of most large Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) - Liquid Oxygen (LOX) rockets (e.g., the Ares 5 design) use compressed helium to maintain pressure in the hydrogen tank during the flight. It takes a BIG tank to hold a million pounds of LH2. So it takes a LOT of helium to maintain tank pressure at 300psi when most of the hydrogen has been burned.

An early concern about the Ares 5 design was ... if there were a lot of launches to sustain a Moon Colony and then a Mars Colony ... it could have exhausted the entire Helium supply of the US.


22 posted on 04/27/2013 4:46:16 PM PDT by Mack the knife
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