I have signed into law today H.R. 4168, the Helium Privatization Act of 1996, which privatizes the Department of Interior's Federal Helium Refining Program—as the Vice President's National Performance Review had recommended.
Once, our defense and aviation industries had a strong need for helium and the Nation lacked a market to supply it. A Government program was appropriate. But today, over 90 percent of U.S. helium needs are met by private producers and suppliers. A Government-operated program is no longer needed. The private sector can meet, and now will be able to compete to supply, the needs of all users.
The bill brings us closer to our goal of creating a Government that works better and costs less.