US Senators oppose helium’s removal from critical list


US Senator John Barrasso and Senator Mike Lee have sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, expressing their opposition to the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) recent proposal to remove helium and uranium from the list of critical minerals.

Barrasso, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), and Lee, ranking member of the ENR Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining, are calling on the secretary to retain helium and uranium on the Department of the Interior’s list of critical minerals.

The letter points out that as US helium production declines, Russia has made massive investments to take the place of the US in the global helium market.

The Senators say in the letter that “foreign political risk, military conflict, violent unrest, and anticompetitive and protectionist behaviour associated with helium” mean that the Biden administration should reconsider helium’s inclusion on the list.

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