Privatization Leading to a Shortage of Helium
A shortage in helium is going to ruin some celebrations...not just parties either, but some age old traditions.
Nebraska's 70-year tradition of releasing red balloons into the air after the first touchdown of every game has been put on hold and the reason, according to Purdue chemist Greg Michalski, boils down to privatization.
Michalski says a government storage facility that was started in the 1920's when blimps were strategically important, was closed down, but uses for helium continued. In the 1990's the helium storage facility became a budget cut, and the helium sold off, driving prices down, and causing helium producers to end production because it wasn't worth the expense.