Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) Advocates for Port of Corpus Christi in Senate Commerce Committee Hearing

Mar 16, 2018


Corpus Christi, TX – In a Senate Commerce Committee hearing this week titled “Rebuilding Infrastructure in America: Administration Perspectives,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), questioned U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry on regulatory reform to accelerate the completion of Port of Corpus Christi’s Ship Channel Improvement Project (CIP). During the exchange, Sen. Cruz expressed his interest in modifying existing regulations to grant ports more authority in their dealings with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

 “The Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project will play a key role in expanding the country’s export capacity in the years to come,” said Sean Strawbridge, Port of Corpus Christi CEO.  “Sen. Cruz’s support brings awareness to the delays and burdensome regulations regarding our channel deepening and widening, and his leadership is helpful to keep this project moving.”

The hearing featured five cabinet secretaries, who were questioned on the importance of aligning federal resources with local infrastructure needs. Secretary Perry was joined by Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

“One project in Texas that I believe you’re familiar with from your time as Governor, is the Port of Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project,” said Sen. Cruz to Secretary Perry at the hearing. “And the Port of Corpus Christi currently has the funding available to deepen and widen the Port, but they’re having to navigate with the Army Corps of Engineers, which can be at times slow and cumbersome and can lead to unnecessary project delays. One solution is to modify the Army Corps of Engineers’ regulations to grant more authority for Ports to execute Army Corps of Engineers’ projects.”

Perry acknowledged that, as a former governor, he would have welcomed the administration’s focus on permitting reform, and he referenced major port projects like the CIP as an example. “They aren’t coming up here and asking for more money,” he said. “They are asking for federal agencies to get out of the way to give them approval.”

Friday, March 16, 2018

In September 2017, Port of Corpus Christi and USACE signed a Project Partnership Agreement for the deepening and widening of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. Last month, the CIP was included in President Trump’s FY’19 Budget – a testament to the growing demand for U.S. energy exports.  The completion of this project will allow the Port to accommodate larger vessels and increase volumes of U.S. oil and natural gas exports, bolstering domestic energy production and supporting our allies abroad.  (See hearing testimony time 3:27:55 to 3:29:35)

About Port Corpus Christi

As the leading U.S. crude oil export port and a major economic engine of Texas and the nation, Port Corpus Christi is the 4th largest port in the United States in total tonnage.  Strategically located on the western Gulf of Mexico with a 36 mile, 47 foot (MLLW) deep channel, Port Corpus Christi is a major gateway to international and domestic maritime commerce.  The Port has excellent railroad and highway network connectivity via three North American Class-1 railroads and two major interstate highways. With an outstanding staff overseen by its seven member commission, Port Corpus Christi is “Moving America’s Energy.”

SEN CRUZ-CIP 3-16-18