T. Boone Pickens was a guest on CNBC’s “Squawkbox” program along with former NY Governor George Pataki. Interviewed by Becki Quick, Boone said “I’m confident we’re going to have an energy plan for America.” He said “the NAT GAS Act” in the House and Senate would cut our imports from OPEC in half. That can be done in seven years.”

Boone described the tax credit on how to achieve it. “We have a model for this,” he said. “In California the state provided a $50,000 per truck tax credit for trash and recycling trucks to move from diesel to natural gas.”

“In 20 years,” he said, “we’ll be on batteries, but natural gas is the transition fuel to get us off OPEC oil. A battery won’t move an 18-wheeler today.”

Governor Pataki reminded viewers that “when we talk about oil imports, it’s not for power generation; it’s for transportation. Seventy percent of the oil we import is used for transportation. Oil only provides about 20 percent of our power generation.”

Boone said he was looking for President Obama to “issue an executive order that all federal vehicles will have to run on domestic fuel. I’ve said right from the beginning that I’m for anything American.”

Boone said a huge portion of our trade deficit is oil imports and said we can’t sustain those kinds of imbalances.

“This will be an absolute home run for America; but you have to get started. Natural gas prices are just below $4. One Mcf of natural gas will do the same amount of work as seven gallons of diesel which is about $20. So, natural gas is about 20 percent of the cost of diesel and it’s domestic; it’s American.”

“This will come down to a serious patriotic issue before it’s over with. We’re funding both sides of the war. A great deal of the money we are sending to OPEC is ending up in the hands of the Taliban.”

When Boone was off the air, the studio guests said, “It really is more than an environmental issue and more than an economic issue. It’s a national security issue.”

Governor Pataki said “Oil at $71 per barrel doesn’t include the enormous security costs that aren’t accounted for in that number.”