President Biden requested $157 million to expand the Port of Corpus Christi’s ship channel, which would allow more ships of greater size to use the port. Some of those ships serve Texas’ oil and gas industry.
The project has been in the works for more than 30 years. While port officials were excited about the president’s request, local environmentalists oppose the project because of its potential impact on nearby ecosystems.
Chase Rogers, a reporter for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, spoke with Texas Standard about the port’s future.
Listen to the interview with Rogers in the audio player above or read the highlights below:
– The port-improvement project was first approved in 1990 but did not begin until 2019.
– Port staff theorize that the port expansion became a federal budget priority, in part, because of the war in Ukraine. The United States aims to fill the gap in potential loss of access to Russian natural gas in Europe, as European countries distance themselves from Russia.
– The $157 million would be used to complete the fourth stage of the port’s expansion. Individuals involved with the project told Rogers that if they receive the funds, the port could be completed by late 2023.
– Local environmental groups have concerns over the increased traffic caused by port expansion. Rogers says he’s heard claims that the expansion will increase the likelihood of oil spills in the area.