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Helium Privatization Act of 1996

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Helium Privatization Act of 1996
Great Seal of the United States
Long titleAn Act to amend the Helium Act to authorize the Secretary to enter into agreements with private parties for the recovery and disposal of helium on Federal lands, and for other purposes.
Enacted bythe 104th United States Congress
EffectiveOctober 9, 1996
Public law104-273
Statutes at Large110 Stat. 3315
Acts amendedHelium Act of 1925
Titles amended50 U.S.C.: War and National Defense
U.S.C. sections amended50 U.S.C. ch. 10 § 167 et seq.
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the House as H.R. 4168 by Christopher Cox (R-CA) on September 25, 1996
  • Committee consideration by House Resources
  • Passed the House on September 26, 1996 (Passed Voice Vote)
  • Passed the Senate on September 28, 1996 (Passed Unanimous Consent)
  • Signed into law by President William J. Clinton on October 9, 1996

The Helium Privatization Act of 1996 is a United States statute that ordered the US government to sell much of the National Helium Reserve. The United States 104th Congressional session passed the Act of Congress presenting the legislation to the United States President on September 30, 1996. President Bill Clinton enacted the federal statute into law on October 9, 1996.[1]

The law was described by critics as a "fiasco" due to the formula-based sale price being significantly lower than the market price for helium.[2] The bill was amended in 2013 to use an auction to sell helium.[3]


  1. ^ Clinton, William J. (October 9, 1996). "Statement on Signing the Helium Privatization Act of 1996 - October 9, 1996". Internet Archive. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Service. p. 1796.
  2. ^ Yglesias, Matthew (14 May 2012). "America's Helium Privatization Fiasco". Slate. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  3. ^ Cho, Adrian (8 July 2015). "New U.S. rules on helium sales said to stifle competition". Science | AAAS. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
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Helium Privatization Act of 1996
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