Texas lawmakers recently decided to retrieve its gold stockpiles from a bank in New York and store it within its own borders, although a new report indicates that the plan is plagued with logistical problems, according to The Associated Press.
The Lone Star State is the only state that actually owns a stockpile of gold, rather than just gold futures or investment positions like other states. Its 5,600 gold bars are worth about $650 million, according to AP.
Conservatives and even some on the far left hailed the Legislature's decision this summer to bring the gold cache home, as many are suspicious of the federal government and have lost confidence in its long-term economic viability. If there is a catastrophic financial crisis, Texas lawmakers want to ensure the state retains control over its gold.
"There will always be the exact same amount of gold in there as the amount that was put in," regardless of what happens to the national financial system, said Republican state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, a former tea party organizer and author of the gold bill, according to AP.
Some are speculating that the decision could be the state's first step toward eventual secession from the United States. From 1836 to 1846, Texas was an independent sovereign country.
One in four Americans told Reuters pollsters last year that they would support the idea of their state peacefully succeeding.
One of the issues lawmakers face is the fact that the new law doesn't specify where the future Texas Bullion Depository should be built, and the bill did not provide funding for building costs or leasing purposes either.
Another problematic provision allows Texas citizens to check their own gold or silver bullion into the facility.
"We are honestly at the phase where the questions we are answering are creating more questions that we have to answer," Chris Brown, a spokesman for the comptroller's office, which is responsible for implementing the new policy, told AP.
The comptroller's office only has a four-person task force working out the logistics of the gold's retrieval and storage.
When Capriglione first introduced his bill in 2013, he estimated the costs to be around $23 million. For comparison, Fort Know ended up costing $560,000 when it was completed in 1936, which is equivalent to roughly $9.2 million today.
One proposed solution is to let private companies bid to create a depository in exchange for levying storage and service fees, Capriglione said.
The Federal Reserve declined to comment on the new proposal, as did HSBC bank, which currently stores Texas' gold bars in an underground Manhattan vault, AP said.