Congress approves bill to avert helium shortageSeptember 26, 2013 @ 12:49 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress has moved to avert an impending shutdown of the federal helium reserve, a key supplier of the lighter-than-air gas used in a products ranging from party balloons to MRI machines.
The Federal Helium Program, which provides about 42 percent of the nation's helium from a storage site in Texas, was set to shut down Oct. 7 unless lawmakers intervened. Closing the reserve could cause a worldwide helium shortage.
The Senate unanimously approved a bill extending the helium reserve on Thursday, a day after the House approved the measure, also unanimously. The bill now goes to the president.
The measure includes a $329 million, one-year extension of a federal subsidy for timber-dependent counties, mostly in the West. Oregon would get $100 million.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Does This Make Sense?
Jason Rantz questions Inslee's plan to fund transportation with carbon pollution tax
Michael Medved takes a look at whether the latest Hobbit film is worth your interest
Find holiday events, Santa photo opportunities, and light displays
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.