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.