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U.S. 2021 Budget Includes $100M for Port Corpus Christi

The Port of Corpus Christi is the nation’s largest exporter of crude oil, a status achieved after Congress lifted the ban on exports to foreign countries in late 2016. Courtesy photo

A proposed $4.8 trillion U.S. budget for 2021 includes $100 million for the Port of Corpus Christi. The money in President Donald Trump’s budget would go toward the port’s channel widening project.

“I’m thankful President Trump has once again prioritized funding for the Port of Corpus Christi’s Channel Improvement Project in this year’s budget,” Rep. Michael Cloud (R-Victoria) said in a statement. Cloud’s districts covers the port and Corpus Christi. “Investment in the port is vital for economic growth in Texas and the United States. The port also plays a strategic role in our country’s position as the global energy leader.”

The FY2020 budget included $53 million for the port’s $380 million project that would widen the ship channel to 530 feet. Dredging would take the channel down to 54 feet, allowing for bigger ships and two-way traffic. The port received $13 million in 2019 from the federal government.

The port reported its biggest export year ever in 2019, moving 16 million more cargo tons than the previous year, which was also a record. In 2019, the port moved 122.2 million cargo tons, ranking it the third-largest port in the United States in terms of tonnage. The majority of exports are oil and gas products.

“We’re the energy port of the Americas,” said Port Authority Chairman Charles Zahn when the announcement was made in January.

The line item in the budget is listed under the Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works program.

“As we export more American oil and gas, our allies are less dependent on Russia and Iran for those needs,” Cloud said. “Thank you to port leadership and all those who’ve worked to bring the project this far.”

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