President Trump approved construction of a new pipeline between the United States and Mexico Thursday, saying it will go “right under” the wall he plans to build along the border.
“My administration has just approved construction of a new petroleum pipeline to Mexico, which will further boost American energy exports,” Trump said Thursday in prepared remarks at the Energy Department headquarters as part of the administration’s Energy Week.
“And that’ll go right under the wall, right?” Trump said, looking at Vice President Pence, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who had joined him on the stage.
Trump then repeatedly made a motion with his hand, pantomiming dipping under something.
“Have it go down a little deeper in that one section, you know. A little, like this,” he said, pantomiming again. “Right under the wall.”
Trump was referring to the Burgos Pipeline, a joint venture between NuStar Logistics and an affiliate of Petróleos Mexicanos that would cross the border between McAllen, Texas, and Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico.
The 10-inch pipe would export up to 108,000 barrels a day of petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel, relatively small in comparison with other cross-border pipelines. The State Department needed to approve the project because it crosses a border.
A central campaign promise from Trump was to build a wall along the entire U.S. border with Mexico, and Mexico would pay for it. Mexico has so far refused.
Trump hasn’t successfully convinced Congress to pay for the wall, either, but the administration has redirected $20 million to start construction of the wall this summer in the San Diego area.