uot;That is the key: It is ours.”
The switch to American-produced CNG would halve the amount of oil the United States buys from OPEC within seven years, he said.
"That is the oil that is dangerous for America,” Pickens said. "That’s where we’re most vulnerable.”
Pickens also said wind power is an important resource, but natural gas is the one that will fuel the United States until batteries capable of powering an 18-wheeler are developed in about 25 years.
"We have more natural gas than any country in the world,” he said.
"This is a global game-changer and it’s in the hands of this administration.”
Pickens, a Republican, seemed confident President Barack Obama’s oratorical skills will result in an energy plan similar to the one he’s been espousing.
He estimated there is a 50-50 chance the plan will be enacted this year. He guaranteed such a plan will be in place within a year.
"This is going to happen,” he said.
Pickens made a believer of George Drake, a retired oil and gas executive who attended Thursday’s free town hall meeting on a whim after reading about it in the newspaper.
He said he was impressed with Pickens’ passion for helping his country.
"He’s willing to put his money where his mouth is,” Drake said. "I’m really impressed.”
Pickens said he has spent $62 million promoting his plan, which Drake insists makes perfect sense.
"I wish more people would have come,” he said. "A lot of people need to get on board with this.
"This is something they can get behind and do something about.”
Watch T. Boone Picken's speech