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FORT WORTH, Texas -- Florists and balloonists in North Texas and elsewhere say the prices they re paying for helium are sky-high.

The Fort Star-Telegram reports that helium is getting more expensive and more difficult to find. Francey Freeman, the owner of a Fort Worth balloon store, says prices have quadrupled with no signs of slowing down. Some grocery stores have stopped selling helium tanks altogether.

Texas is home to the nation s only federal helium reserve, located near Amarillo. But federal law requires the reserve to sell off all of its helium by 2015.

Some warn of a looming helium shortage and are calling on Congress to change the law.

Besides filling balloons, helium also cools MRI machines and is used in a variety of electronics.

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