Touting his energy plan to get America off foreign oil, financier T. Boone Pickens told CNBC Wednesday that the U.S. is importing oil from its "enemies."
"We need to get off OPEC oil, and that's what I want," said Pickens, who is chairman and founder of the BP Capital Management hedge fund. "Right now, with two wars in the Middle East (Iraq and Afghanistan), we are importing oil from the enemy."
"We're getting on average 70 percent of our oil from foreign sources," Boone went on to say. "We need to reduce that. It's a security issue as far as I'm concerned. I don't mind getting oil from Canada, but not the Middle East. This has put us close to disaster."
Boone's plan, which he first revealed on CNBC in 2008and is scheduled for a Senate hearing Wednesday, calls for using more wind power, giving homeowners incentives for energy saving, as well as moving 18 wheeler trucks off diesel fuel and on to natural gas.
"It would take seven years to accomplish the transfer of the 8 million trucks to natural gas at a cost of about $65,000 per truck," Boone said. "You would end up cutting OPEC oil imports in half by doing that. It would be 2 and a half million barrels a day instead of 5 million."
As for critics who say the plan is unworkable and too expensive, Boone once again said it's a security issue for the U.S. "We need to start somewhere on this for the good of the country," Boone added. "And those who don't like it see the price of oil going down if natural gas is brought in to the mix."
Boone, who says he has spent $80 million of his own money on the plan, said that even though the plan is now being discussed in the Senate, he didn't expect a vote on it Wednesday. "I've been in talks with Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NEV), but I don't see it getting acted on today, but I think it will eventually happen."