Because we’re wasting it on party balloons. It really is a critical strategic resource; it’s nuts to be selling off the reserve. It’s vital for a lot of rocketry.
But here’s my question, that a quick search doesn’t answer. With the increase in natural gas production from fracking, are they capturing the helium along with it? Does this solve the problem? Or is the artificially low prices making it not worthwhile to do so? The other question is, are there places where it’s easy to mine in the solar system? For instance, how practical would it be to skim Saturn’s atmosphere for it?