Home > newsroom > Page
Committee Leaders Send Bicameral, Bipartisan Letter Asking for GAO Oversight on Implementation of Helium Stewardship Act


WASHINGTON, D.C., March 13, 2014 - Today, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA -04) and Ranking Member Peter Defazio (OR-04), along with Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) asking for an examination of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) plans for helium sales, tolling conditions and general oversight of the Helium Stewardship Act before the first sale of the year.

“Last year, Congress enacted the Helium Stewardship Act, a central tenant of which is a new auction-based program designed to inject more competition into helium sales from the Reserve, and establish a fair market price for helium to ensure a fair return to the taxpayer. A key component of facilitating new competition into the helium program is the condition that current refiners who hold access to the Reserve make available tolling capacity at commercially reasonable rates. Failure by BLM to enforce these provisions will result in fewer auction participants, lower prices for helium, and a loss of revenues for taxpayers,” wrote the Committee leaders in the letter.

Click here to read the full letter.

Background
Last year, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Helium Stewardship Act, bipartisan legislation that would create a new auction-based program designed to encourage more competition and sell helium from the Federal Helium Reserve in a responsible manner to prevent a global shortage, protect jobs and the economy, and ensure a fairer return for taxpayers.

The GAO and Department of the Interior Inspector General have both issued reports highlighting how previous system of conducting helium sales prevented the taxpayer from getting the best return for their resource. A key component of facilitating new competition into the helium program is the condition that current refiners who hold access to the Reserve make available tolling capacity at commercially reasonable rates. The ability for new participants to access tolling capacity is central to ensuring buyers have the security of knowing they will be able to access and refine crude helium from the Reserve.

###

Printable PDF of this document


Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

Latest News

Bishop: FWS Mimics EPA Tactics in Expansive Critical Habitat Proposal

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service announced the finalization of a new policy for defining and designating critical habitat under the Endangered Specie...... Read more

Committee Advances Bipartisan “National 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center Act”

Today, the Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 3036 (Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-NJ), the “National 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center Act,” legislation designating the National September 11 Mem...... Read more

New York Times: How Free Electricity Helped Dig $9 Billion Hole in Puerto Rico

To understand how Puerto Rico’s power authority has piled up $9 billion in debt, one need only visit this bustling city on the northwest coast. Twenty years ago, it was just another town with dwindlin...... Read more

View All News

Calendar

The Costly Impacts of Predation and Conflicting Federal Statutes on Native and Endangered Fish Species
Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans | 1334 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515
Legislative Hearing on H.R. 87, H.R. 295, H.R. 1621 and H.R. 2817
Subcommittee on Federal Lands | 1324 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515
View All Events