In the latest attempt to keep states from publicly releasing information about crude oil trains, one railroad argues that the disclosures could facilitate insider trading.
In a Dec. 29 letter to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Kansas City Southern wrote that the state “should not disclose information to individuals that creates the potential for investment activity by individuals having non-public information.”
Other railroads have tried to block the release of information about oil trains moving through states by arguing that it would pose a security risk or compromise trade secrets. McClatchy obtained such data, however, from 22 states from June to December.
The Texas Department of Public Safety referred McClatchy’s July 9 open records request to the state attorney general’s office. Abbott was elected governor in November and will be sworn in next week, leaving the decision to his successor, Ken Paxton.
In a Dec. 10 letter to McClatchy, the department said, “We believe some or all of the records may be excepted from required public disclosure at this time.”
In its Dec. 29 letter, Kansas City Southern, based in Kansas City, Mo., wrote that the oil train reports are exempt from disclosure under the Texas Public Information Act section that applies to trade secrets and commercial or financial data.
But Missouri and Kansas shared a Kansas City Southern oil train report with McClatchy in September and December, respectively. It shows the route of the trains through Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.
In the Aug. 22 letter to officials in Kansas and Missouri, the railroad said it planned to operate one to five oil trains a month between Kansas City and a terminal in Nederland, between Beaumont and Port Arthur.