Energy

Canadian Envoy Slams His Boss For Submarining Keystone Pipeline

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Steve Ambrose Contributor
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On his final day as a Canadian envoy to Congress, Rob Merrifield blamed the premier who fired him for submarining the Keystone XL pipeline.

The outgoing Keystone advocate said his boss, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, gave President Barack Obama “a blank check” to reject the pipeline by remaining silent amid opposition.

“[Notley] coming out here and saying ‘we don’t want it, either’ is not helpful,” Merrifield told Bloomberg News. Her lack of support gave Obama “a blank check to be able to say no and not have a lot of fallout,” he added. “And that’s unfortunate for market access, not just for Keystone.”

Congress passed a bill to force authorization of the pipeline earlier this year, but could not overcome Obama’s veto. Merrifield said Obama will officially reject the pipeline “shortly.” (RELATED: Senator: White House Will Reject Keystone XL Next Month)

Wednesday was Merrifield’s last day on the job. A spokeswoman for Notley told Bloomberg the office is looking for a “professional diplomat” to replace Merrifield, “for reasons Mr. Merrifield just demonstrated.”

Merrifield was appointed by the premier Notley replaced following a recent election, and said he understands the decision to replace him, but took issue with the timing.

“I don’t fault the government one bit for moving me on,” he told Bloomberg. “It’s the timing that should have been more fluid.”

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