It is remarkable how much a difference an election and a change of administration can make. When Barack Obama was still in the Oval Office, the Dakota Access Pipeline was mired in government red tape, court challenges, and a horde of often violent environmental protestors. This situation suited the previous administration owing to its hostility to fossil fuels.

Now, Donald Trump is president and has a more pragmatic than ideological approach to energy production. The protestors are all gone, leaving mountains of trash in the wake (ironically.) The government has lifted the impediments to completion of the pipeline.

A court case filed by the local Native American tribes who claim that the pipeline may leak into the water supply is still pending. But, absent any legal roadblocks, the oil will start flowing from the Bakken fracking fields in North Dakota to a tank farm in Illinois. The railroads that previously carried the oil will be freed up for transporting other products, particularly Midwest grain. America will be one step closer to energy independence.

The controversy demonstrates how much bad government policy can stymie Economic Activity.

Like the Keystone XL Pipeline, the Dakota Access Pipeline had been held up by a madcap government run energy policy, a NIMBY attitude by some of the locals, and the environmentalist enthusiasms by hordes of outsiders that caused more harm to the environment than any oil pipeline could.

The last decade or so has been horrible where the economy is concerned. Partly that situation stemmed from a confluence of events such as 9/11, the Enron Scandal, and the collapse of the dot.com bubble.

It was made worse by insane government regulatory and tax policies inflicted by the Obama administration.

Donald Trump has a boatload of character flaws and political deficits, but he does understand how an economy works. Jobs are created, and businesses are formed when the government is not functioning so hard to stop those things from happening; The completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline may be the first in a wave of economic activity fueled by pent up energy now unleashed thanks to the unlikeliest of presidents.

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