Texans Against HSR claim high-speed rail ceded ownership of central Texas to Japanese government
Texas Central President and CEO Carlos Aguilar issued the following statement in response to the Texans Against HSR press release:
“Despite unfounded rumors to the contrary, Texas Central Railroad, a Texas-based company, owns the property purchased for the state-of-the-art bullet train project and continues to honor all covenants made to the landowners who participated in the land option purchase program. Texas Central has provided security over its acquired property to its lender, which is standard practice in real estate transactions. As momentum toward physical construction accelerates , Texas Central continues to engage in personalized, open and collaborative discussions with landowners, outlining the benefits of the project, listening to their concerns and answering their questions.
According to the Texans Against High Speed Rail organization, Texas Central Railway ceded ownership of the Texas landowners to the Japanese government through an offshore entity based in the Cayman Islands.
The organization, made up of “concerned citizens of the counties of Texas located along the proposed routes for the bullet train,” said based on a series of recently recorded real estate transactions in the counties along the route. concerned, “it appears that the Japanese government has asked Texas Central to put the land as collateral for the large loan owed to them.” “
In every county, including Leon, Waller, Madison, and Grimes, Texas Central has filed a “deed of trust, assignment of leases and rents, security agreement and filing of documents” regarding property owned by Texas Central in that county, according to documents obtained by Texas Against HSR.
The beneficiary of these trust deeds is an offshore entity named “Japan Texas High-Speed Railway Cayman GP.”
Texas Central did not disclose the existence of this offshore beneficiary to any of the landowners he convinced to sign an option contract. Nor did he disclose his intention to use the purchased property in the. under option contracts to obtain a loan from the Japanese government, ”he added. Texans vs. HSR said.
Texans Against HSR chairman and chairman Kyle Workman explained that the latest move is part of a long series that landowners need to be aware of. “Texas Central has long presented itself as a Texan company and a Texan project. However, some of the first Texan properties acquired were immediately handed over to an offshore shell company created by the Japanese government. “
Workman continued, “If Texas Central had disclosed its intention to award this property to the Government of Japan, lawmakers and landowners would most likely have viewed these real estate transactions differently. There are still landowners with pending option contracts with Texas Central… these Texans must be notified immediately that the property Texas Central has acquired is being used as collateral to secure a loan from a foreign government. We call on the governor to support measures to protect Texas lands from the deceptive acquisition and shadow transfer of offshore property, beyond the regulatory protections of US and Texas law.
Representative Ben Leman, State Representative for House District 13 in Texas, which includes the counties of Austin, Burleson, Colorado, Fayette, Grimes, Lavaca and Washington, issued the following statement:
“I am simply appalled,” said State Representative Ben Leman. “Since their conception, Texas Central has lied to its investors and to the Texans about this project. First, they said this project would cost $ 10 billion, but now we learn that their estimated costs have exploded out of control to $ 30 billion. Second, Texas Central said the project will be privately funded and will not ask for government grants for construction or public money to subsidize operations. However, this is no longer true either; because they admitted to actively seeking funding through a federal stimulus bill proposed by Nancy Pelosi and the Green New Deal. Finally, they claim to be a Texan corporation, but they ceded the acquired property under threat of eminent domain and false pretenses to the Japanese government. It is not a Texan thing to do and Texas Central must be stopped before other Texans and Texas taxpayers get caught up in their network of lies and disinformation. Many of my constituents’ families have fought and died for the land they own. Taking their land and giving it to a foreign government under these circumstances is an insult not only to these families, but to every Texan who cares about private property rights and our culture.
Leman sits on the Texas House Committee on Transportation, Land and Resource Management, and Redistricting. In addition, he sits on the House Special Committee on Driver’s License Issuance and Renewal and on the Legislative Committee on Aging.
Texas Central Railway says it will begin construction next year, according to Texans Against HSR, but the company recently laid off the majority of its staff, admitted that the project’s cost estimate had climbed to $ 30 billion, has expressed its intention to seek federal funds. for a project they called “private” and “not requiring any public funds,” and the Surface Transportation Board, at the federal level, is now required to file a complete application including financial and usage information, which the company has refused to go public so far.
The Federal Railroad Administration is preparing to publish its decision report (ROD) on the final environmental impact study (FEIS) for this rapid train project on Friday.
This ROD does not give the company the necessary authorization to build; However, this is seen as final federal action for the project, allowing prosecution of FEIS NEPA violations to begin, the organization said.