Calif. Pol Aims to Burst Balloons

Blames orbs on blackouts; opponents vehemently rally to helium-filled cause
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 15, 2008 8:55 AM CDT
Helium-filled foil balloons caused more than 800 power outages in California last year.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – A California lawmaker is pushing to ban helium-filled foil balloons, blaming the globe-shaped menaces for flying into power lines and causing more than 800 blackouts in the state last year. The bill easily passed the state's senate, but it’s facing an uproar from balloon artists and balloon lovers alike as it awaits an assembly vote, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“My first reaction to this was, 'You've got to be kidding. Is this a joke?” said a lobbyist hired for the cause. But balloon-lovers were most serious when they gleefully stomped a balloon replica of the bill's sponsor at a rally against the plan. Even if the bill makes it through assembly, the Governator may veto it. “Oh yes, a very important law,” he teased.