President Obama Monday tapped Anthony Foxx, the mayor of Charlotte, NC, to succeed Ray LaHood as secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOT), which oversees the safety of the nation’s natural gas and hazardous pipeline infrastructure, as well as roads, airports and railways.

Elected at the age of 38, Foxx is the youngest mayor of Charlotte and the city’s second African American mayor. “I know Anthony’s experience will make him an outstanding transportation secretary,” Obama said in announcing Foxx’s nomination at the White House, singling out Foxx’s work on installing a light rail system in Charlotte.

In January, LaHood said he would stay on until his successor was confirmed to ensure a smooth transition for the department.

LaHood was named transportation secretary in January 2009. During his term, there were three major explosions on natural gas pipelines: in San Bruno, CA; Allentown, PA; and Sissonville, WV (see Daily GPI, Dec. 12, 2012; Feb. 11, 2011; Sept. 22, 2010). The series of incidents has led to more rigorous regulations from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, an agency of DOT.

“As mayor of one of the largest cities in the South and one of the most dynamic cities in the nation, Foxx recognizes the value of transit infrastructure to a growing area, and he has witnessed first-hand the power of what transit infrastructure can mean to a growing community,” the Sierra Club said. “His experience will be of great value in this new role.”

©Copyright 2013Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news reportmay not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in anyform, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.