Mineral Resources:

H.R. 3967--A Bill to Change How Federal Needs for Refined Helium Are Met

T-RCED-94-183: Published: Apr 19, 1994. Publicly Released: Apr 19, 1994.

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GAO discussed proposed legislation to prohibit the Bureau of Mines from refining and selling helium and disposing of the U.S. helium inventory. GAO noted that: (1) the proposed legislation would shift the refining of federal helium to the private sector, liquidate the helium reserve except for a small inventory, and freeze the helium program debt at the October 1, 1993 level and provide for repayment through sales revenues and storage facility rentals; (2) budgetary effects of the legislation will depend on the private sector's ability to sell refined helium to federal customers at a lower price than the Bureau and the revenues generated from the sale of the helium inventory; (3) Congress could cancel the helium program debt without affecting the federal budget; and (4) the proposed legislation provides a viable alternative for meeting federal needs for helium with the potential for budgetary savings and repayment of the helium program debt.

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