President Obama: You can do something to stop oil spills

The Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) has not had a leader in seven months. The most recent permanent administrator left the position in October, more than 220 days ago.

This agency is responsible for regulating approximately 2.6 million miles of pipelines that carry natural gas, crude oil, gasoline, and other hazardous liquids all over our country. Unfortunately, California has experienced first hand what happens when old pipelines break.

Earlier this year, Congress provided increased funding to PHMSA after an alarming amount crude-by-rail safety concerns. But how can we expect PHMSA to use that funding to effectively increase inspections without appointing permanent leadership?

Last week, California's Senators Feinstein and Boxer sent a letter to President Obama urging him to take action on this appointment immediately. If you think this issue is as important as we do, send a letter to President Obama reminding him what happens when we let oil companies regulate themselves.