The United States could end its reliance on OPEC oil in just a few years, energy entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens told CNBC on Monday. While energy independence in America is "in sight," it could have happened sooner, he added.
"We're down to 4 million barrels a day of OPEC oil [from 7 million] … and we can knock that out within the next three years," Pickens said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "All you have to do is switch natural gas over to the heavy-duty trucks."
Tuesday marks six years since he launched his "Pickens Plan." Originally unveiled on "Squawk Box" in 2008, it calls for the U.S. to move away from foreign oil and embrace booming domestic natural gas supplies to fuel transportation needs.
Despite pretty broad support, the "Pickens Plan" failed to get Congress and President Barack Obama to act.
"If [Washington] had gone with me six years ago, you figure you could probably had the job done in three to four years," Pickens argued. "If that were the case, you would have cut out 75 percent of OPEC, because 8 million trucks converted to natural gas off of diesel is 3 million barrels a day."
With more than a half century of experience in the oil and nat gas industry, Pickens spent most of his career building Mesa Petroleum into a powerhouse. After selling Mesa in 1996, he founded BP Capital Management, a hedge fund focusing on investments in the energy industry.
—By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere