"We may be squandering a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Jim Cramer, an opportunity to finally break the back of OPEC."
"We currently have the opportunity for our continent to become energy independent," Cramer explained on Thursday's broadcast. "But the government is doing next to nothing to make it happen."
That may seem counter-intuitive at first – after all – lower nat gas prices mean lower energy bills. However, from the industry perspective, lower prices suggest supply will far exceed demand for some time to come.
It's because "there's a gigantic glut of natural gas," said Cramer. "We've got more natural gas than we know what to do with."
Massive supply combined with less than massive demand is a tough business environment. It makes companies such as EOG Resources cautious, at best.
What aggravates Cramer is his belief that demand could be better – a lot better.
"Here's the missing piece of the puzzle," said Cramer.
"We aren't converting this natural gas into a surface fuel for anything but a handful of trucks and almost no cars. There's no infrastructure, there's not many trucks and they aren't yet that efficient. They aren't because we don't have a national mandate to use the fuel." That, Cramer said, needs to change – pronto.
"We need the federal government to say it will switch its fleets of autos to natural gas by, say 2016. That would encourage the gas station owners and the nat gas producers and the surface vehicle makers to work together to promote rapid acceptance of a fuel."
Should that happen, Cramer believes America would embark on an industrial renaissance the likes of which we haven't seen in this country in decades.
"Our nation and our continent would become energy independent," said Cramer. "That would break the back of OPEC, a cartel that's held our nation hostage for 40 years."
"It can happen," Cramer insisted. "It can, if the potential of nat gas gets the attention it deserves."
Read More: Cramer's Plays on Housing Rebound
Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC
Questions for Cramer? firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website? email@example.com