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House Passes Bill to Boost Domestic Helium Production


WASHINGTON, D.C., November 1, 2017 -

Today, the House passed H.R. 3279, the “Helium Extraction Act of 2017.” Introduced by Rep. Paul Cook (R-CA), the bill amends the Mineral Leasing Act to authorize the Bureau of Land Management to lease federal land for the purpose of helium production under the same lease terms used for oil and gas development.   

With this bill, we seek responsible development of another critical natural resource that will provide increased American security, economic stability and domestic job creation. I thank Rep. Cook for his leadership on this important measure and look forward to working with the Senate to get it to the president’s desk,Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said.

Helium has become irreplaceable in our space, defense and medical industries. 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. I’m grateful to the House for passing this bill and look forward to it becoming law,” Rep. Cook said.

Background

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.

As the single largest producer of helium in the world, uncertainty in the American market in tandem with the recent turmoil in the Middle East region, including Qatar’s political crisis, has far-reaching impacts on global supply. H.R. 3279 works to alleviate potential future supply concerns by facilitating the domestic production of helium on federal lands, while providing a fair return to the taxpayer.

The Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a legislative hearing on a discussion draft of the bill on June 21, 2017. Rep. Cook introduced H.R. 3279 on July 18, 2017 and it passed Committee on July 26, 2017.

Click here to learn more about H.R. 3279. 

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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