Blood for No Oil: What Newt Gingrich Isn’t Saying About Syria

What do Keystone XL and Syria have in common? Less than Gingrich would have you believe.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during the first New Hampshire Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., Monday, June 13, 2011. 
National Journal
Aug. 29, 2013, 9:42 a.m.

Newt Gin­grich has a plan: If the House is go­ing to vote on mil­it­ary ac­tion in Syr­ia, Speak­er John Boehner should at­tach war-au­thor­iz­a­tion votes to le­gis­la­tion for­cing ap­prov­al of the Key­stone XL oil-sands pipeline.

Gin­grich made his pitch to House lead­er­ship Thursday on Twit­ter:

House GOP should com­bine Key­stone Pipeline and Syr­ia in­to one up or down vote. Lets see who wants war while op­pos­ing Amer­ic­an en­ergy

— Newt Gin­grich (@newtgin­grich) Au­gust 29, 2013

Polit­ic­ally, it has the mark­ings of a shrewd move, as many House Demo­crats would be loath to vote against Pres­id­ent Obama but equally un­will­ing to vote for a pro­ject that the party’s en­vir­on­ment­al base des­pises. In­deed, Demo­crats have largely voted against the pro­ject dur­ing the House’s sev­en sep­ar­ate at­tempts to force the White House’s hand on the pipeline.

But Gin­grich’s bid to con­nect Key­stone XL and Syr­ia is plagued by a lo­gic­al loop­hole: Un­like some of its Middle East­ern neigh­bors, Syr­ia pro­duces little oil, and al­most none of it goes to the U.S.

By the num­bers:

Syr­i­an oil ex­ports have been blocked by in­ter­na­tion­al sanc­tions since late 2011, and even be­fore then, it was hardly a ma­jor play­er in world oil sup­ply: It pro­duced 0.4 per­cent of glob­al sup­ply pre-sanc­tions, and much of that was con­sumed in­tern­ally.

The U.S. im­por­ted 476,000 bar­rels of oil from Syr­ia in 2010, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. En­ergy In­form­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

That same year, the U.S. used 7 bil­lion bar­rels of oil, again ac­cord­ing to the EIA.

That means Syr­ia sup­plied a shade un­der 0.0067 per­cent of U.S. oil con­sump­tion, or about enough to meet Amer­ica’s av­er­age 2010 oil de­mand for “¦ 36 minutes.

To be sure …

There are plenty of oth­er ar­gu­ments for or against a Syr­i­an mil­it­ary strike, and — should one feel a need to make a case based strictly on en­ergy — there’s an ar­gu­ment to be made that U.S. in­volve­ment in Syr­ia could dis­rupt oil pro­duc­tion throughout the re­gion and put a ma­jor dent in U.S. sup­plies.

But if Gin­grich is go­ing to draw a dir­ect line between Syr­ia and Key­stone XL, it’s go­ing to take more than a tweet.

What We're Following See More »
AFTER HE POSTED THREATENING PHOTO
Judge Orders Stone Gag Order
1 hours ago
THE LATEST
DATES TBD
New Election Ordered in NC-09
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS
Source:
TO DEMAND VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT MADURO STEP DOWN
Pence Traveling to Colombia
7 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"Vice President Mike Pence will go to Colombia on Monday to speak with the Colombian president and regional leaders about the ongoing turmoil in Venezuela and rally the international community behind opposition leader Juan Guaidó." Pence "will deliver remarks to the 14 nations that are part of the 'Lima Group' in Bogota," and will meet with Colombian President Ivan Duque.

Source:
LIKELY TO FACE COMPETITION IN REPUBLICAN PRIMARY
Rep. Bradley Byrne Announces Bid Against Sen. Doug Jones
7 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne became the first official Republican entrant into the 2020 U.S. Senate race announcing his intention to run in a race that could become one of the most expensive political contests in Alabama history. Byrne, a three-term congressman from Fairhope, said he anticipates the fundraising during the lengthy 2020 campaign to eclipse the 2017 special Senate election, in which an estimated $50 million was spent during the contest. Democratic U.S. Senator Doug Jones, who narrowly defeated Republican Roy Moore in that election, raised more than $24 million."

Source:
TARGETS INCLUDED NANCY PELOSI
Coast Guard Lt. Planned Large-scale Terrorist Attack
7 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant and self-identified white nationalist was arrested after federal investigators uncovered a cache of weapons and ammunition in his Maryland home that authorities say he stockpiled to launch a widespread domestic terrorist attack targeting politicians and journalists...Though court documents do not detail a specific planned date for an attack, the government said he had been amassing supplies and weapons since at least 2017, developed a spreadsheet of targets that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and searched the Internet using phrases such as “best place in dc to see congress people” and “are supreme court justices protected.”

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login