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Rep. Paul Cook Introduces Bill to Foster Robust Domestic Helium Market


WASHINGTON, D.C., July 18, 2017 -

Today, Rep. Paul Cook (R-CA) introduced H.R. 3279, the “Helium Extraction Act of 2017.” The bill authorizes the Bureau of Land Management to lease federal land for the purpose of helium production under the same lease terms as oil and gas.

Facilitating a robust domestic helium market will spur job creation, promote massive revenues to the Treasury and provide stability for essential industries from medical technology to our defense sector. With the recent developments in Qatar, it’s important now more than ever to ensure a guaranteed source of this critical element. I thank Rep. Cook for his leadership on this issue and look forward to moving this bill through the House,Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said.

The looming helium crisis must be dealt with now. Without this bill, we could become dangerously dependent on unstable foreign countries for our supply of helium. This bill encourages the development of American sources of helium and will boost both our national security and economy,” Rep. Cook stated.

Background:

On June 21, 2017, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a legislative hearing on a discussion draft of the “Helium Extraction Act of 2017.”

Helium, which is a byproduct of the natural gas extraction process, is an essential element used in medical, defense and energy related services such as MRIs, air-to-air missile guidance systems and semiconductors.

The United States is currently the world’s largest supplier of helium ahead of Qatar, Algeria and Russia. The uncertainty caused by Qatar’s recent political crisis, combined with the approaching closure of the Federal Helium Reserve, could put global helium supply under intense strain.

H.R. 3297 works to alleviate some of these supply concerns by facilitating the production of helium on federal lands, while simultaneously providing a fair return to the taxpayer. 

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-225-2761

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