PHMSA chief cites Coast Guard background at Senate hearing
President Bush’s pick to lead the Transportation Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) emphasized to the Senate Commerce Committee that his professional background is proof he’s qualified for the job.
“I always promoted active communications and transparency with respect to agency actions,” retired Coast Guard Adm. Thomas Barrett told senators at a confirmation hearing Tuesday. “I have attended too many funerals that need not have occurred. These experiences left indelible impressions on me and forged a resolve to do all in my power to prevent recurrences.”
Barrett served more than 35 years in the Coast Guard, retiring as vice commandant. He is chief operating officer and vice president of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.
PHMSA was formed under the 2004 Norman Y. Mineta Research and Special Programs Improvement Act. The agency oversees the safety of more than 1.2 million daily hazardous materials shipments in the United States and 64 percent of the country’s energy transported by pipeline.