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No Need to Import OPEC Oil: Pickens

Boone T. Pickens
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Boone T. Pickens

The U.S. has the natural resources to one day stop importing OPEC crude oil, Boone Pickens, founder of BP Capital, told CNBC’s "Street Signs" on Monday.

“There are 30 U.S. states producing oil and gas, the highest we’ve ever had,” Pickens said. Interestingly, many of these are the very swing states that could help decide the upcoming presidential election, he noted.

Pickens' BP Capital is a major investor both energy futures and the publicly traded stock of oil and gas companies.

(Read More: America's 10 Most Polluted States.)

While many U.S. politicians on both sides of the aisle have talked about energy independence, “you’ve never had leadership from either party,” Pickens said. He expects Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to step up with a plan to develop U.S. energy resources — particularly natural gas.

Natural gas is abundant in the U.S. and it is the “alternative energy” for transportation, Pickens said. He noted that 70 percent of all crude oil used in the world every day goes to transportation fuels. While natural gas can be a substitute for crude oil, “wind and solar — great sources of energy — have nothing to do with cutting down on imported oil,” he added.

Pickens has also been a long-supporter of a North American energy alliance to help make the U.S. less reliant on oil from the Persian Gulf. He also said that the U.S. should build the Keystone oil pipeline to help bring more oil in from Canada. "Canada is offering us their oil," Pickens said.

(Read More:The Next Big Oil Importer Could Be...Saudi Arabia: Citi.)

In his speech at the Democratic convention last week, President Obama touted the fact that the U.S. has already cut imported oil by 1 million barrels a day. But Pickens noted this has little to do with any specific Obama policy. “The economy is poorer and that will get you less imports,” he said. “You can cut imports further if the economy gets worse.”

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