Alberta on Friday appointed energy executive David Manning, a former head of Canada's most powerful oil lobby group, as its envoy to Washington as it looks for a favorable decision from the Obama administration on the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline project.

Manning is a senior vice-president and head of the energy practice at Vanasse Hangen Brustline Inc, a Boston engineering firm, and a director at consulting firm M.J. Bradley & Associates.

A former deputy energy minister in Alberta, Manning also spent 10 years as an executive vice-president at National Grid Plc's KeySpan unit. He was also head of the influential Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers from 1995 through 1999, representing Canada's largest oil and gas producers during the negotiations for the Kyoto Protocol.

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