WASHINGTON—The often-delayed, hotly debated Keystone XL pipeline has taken one step closer to approval.
A long-awaited report by the U.S. State Department raised no major objections to the proposed project.
The report says the development of the Alberta oil sands is driven by many more factors than a single pipeline and rejects the argument by environmental groups that stopping the pipeline would thwart their development.
However, the Keystone debate remains far from the finish line.
The Environmental Protection Agency and other departments now have 90 days to comment on the report.
The final decision on whether the pipeline may be built will be made by U.S. President Barack Obama.