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Trump Includes Port of Corpus Christi in Presidential Budget

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

President Donald Trump increased the amount of money allotted for the Port of Corpus Christi in his proposed budget, tripling the amount he included in last year’s federal fiscal wishlist. The 2020 President’s Budget includes $53 million for the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project. The 2019 budget contained a $19 million line item for the port. Congress appropriated $13 million of that in September.

“We are pleased with the administration’s recognition of the importance of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project by including it in the budget again this year,” said port CEO Sean Strawbridge in a statement. “Investing in infrastructure, balancing trade, and achieving energy independence is front and center to the administration’s agenda, and clearly this project checks all those boxes.”

The Port of Corpus Christi is the largest exporter of crude oil in the nation. It is the fourth-largest port in terms of tonnage. In 2018, the port exported $10.8 billion in crude oil to U.S. trading partners.

The channel improvement project involves dredging a deeper pathway to docks and terminals for larger vessels to load and leave with more oil and gas products more quickly and at a cheaper cost. Coupled with the new, taller bridge, which will also better accommodate the bigger ships, the channel project will increase the port’s importance in the energy marketplace.

Used to highlight a president’s priorities, the Trump budget proposal must be approved by Congress before it turns into actual dollars. The Port of Corpus Christi is the only Texas port in the budget.

So far, the federal government has allocated $95 million for the $409 million project. The port will put up $132 million, which has been used to move forward on work already underway.

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