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Price Shocks May Be Coming For Helium Supply 362

Ars has an update on the potential helium shortage we discussed a couple of years back. A Nobel laureate, Robert Richardson, argues for ending market distortions that are resulting in an artificially low price for helium, which is accelerating the projected exhaustion of the supply. "Richardson's solution is to rework the management of the Bush Dome [so named for reasons that have nothing to do with the politician] stockpile once again, this time with the aim of ensuring that helium's price rises to reflect its scarcity. In practical terms, he said that it would be better to deal with a 20-fold increase in price now than to deal with it increasing by a factor of thousands in a few decades when supply issues start to become critical. But he also made an emotional appeal, stating, 'One generation doesn't have the right to determine the availability forever.'"

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