National Helium Reserve - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Helium_Reserve The resulting "Helium Privatization Act of 1996" (Public Law 104273) directed the Department of the Interior to start selling off the reserve by 2005. By 2007, the federal government was reported as auctioning off the Amarillo Helium Plant.
Here's the Government Manual
Exactly. See my post just above. Actually there was a difference between “selling off” and auctioning off. In the former, if the seller sets a price that is too low - as BLM did - then it drives out investment. More recently they have been auctioning it and prices have risen sharply because demand at the old price exceeded supply at the old price. People screaming “I can’t afford it” shows the market working, finally. Now maybe the market can create incentives to bring new supply on line.