For many of us the Keystone Pipeline issue is not a question of should it be built but where. Concerns about potential surface water contamination and more importantly to the major aquifer it would cross raised all sorts of concerns. The Alaskan pipeline history points out that you can carefully build a pipeline and reasonably protect and limit the impact of the pipeline. The major problem with it have been with what goes on at either end of pipeline and not over the length.
I have seen similar economic and job impact numbers supporting the pipeline construction. I can generally accept them. The concern for many of us is how long they will exist and how much infrastructure etc we commit for short term (less than ten years) gain. We know that many if not most of those jobs/people will move to the next project or return to their home state, while the impact of the pipeline and potential spills could remain indefinitely. I have always believed it could and would be built, where and how have been my concern.
The economic impact along the route of what passes through the pipeline (any pipeline) is minimal. On the input end lease holders are the major beneficiaries along with any real jobs created by them. At the other end it is the refiners like EXON, BP and the Koch brothers that get the big money and the jobs they create.
I am far less sanguine on what energy independence means and how to reach it. We keep worrying about imported oil and talk very little or if at all about refining capacity and who controls that. The quest for energy independence took ethanol from a more environmentally friendly component of the blend of chemicals sold as pure gasoline to E10 and now looming E15.
E15 is bad policy in my book, but we never wrote the energy policy part of the book in the first place.