posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 10:34 PM
Here's what happened to the helium. They just decided to get rid of it due to bugetary issues.Or if you're in a conspiratorial mood, the government
has created the shortage.
"Also known as the Cliffside Storage Facility - National Helium Reserve. The National Helium Reserve, also known as the Federal Helium Reserve, is a
strategic reserve of the United States holding over a billion cubic feet of Helium gas. The helium is stored at the Cliffside Storage Facility about
12 miles northwest of Amarillo, Texas in a natural geologic gas storage formation. The reserve was established in 1925 as a strategic supply of gas
for airships, and in the 1950s became an important source of coolant during the Space Race and Cold War. After the "Helium Acts Amendments of 1960"
(Public Law 86–777), the U.S. Bureau of Mines arranged for five private plants to recover helium from natural gas. For this helium conservation
program, the Bureau built a 425-mile pipeline from Bushton, Kansas to connect those plants with the government's partially depleted Cliffside gas
field. This helium-nitrogen mixture was injected and stored in the Cliffside gas field until needed, when it then was further purified. By 1995, a
billion cubic metres of the gas had been collected and the reserve was US $1.4 billion in debt, prompting the Congress of the United States in 1996 to
phase out the reserve. The resulting "Helium Privatization Act of 1996" (Public Law 104–273) directed the United States Department of the Interior
to start liquidating the reserve by 2005".