WASHINGTON - JULY 08: BP Capital Management Chairman T. Boone Pickens (R) speaks as U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) (L) listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill July 8, 2009 in Washington, DC. The news conference was to introduce the "New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions" (NAT GAS) Act. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens said Americans are ready for the challenge if President Barack Obama will commit to a 10-year plan to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
Pickens said Tuesday he believes the U.S. has enough natural gas reserves to "replace dirty foreign oil."
Speaking at the Sustainable Innovation Summit in Dallas, Pickens reiterated his belief that wind and solar power also are keys to energy independence.
The Texas oilman said nothing has happened in the two years since Obama pledged to implement a 10-year plan for exploring alternative energy sources.
Pickens also criticized the U.S. for being behind China in trying to solve energy problems.
"America has never had a plan," Pickens said. "They have a plan to solve their problem, we don't."
Pickens said the money that would be saved by using the alternative energy he proposes would far outweigh any initial costs.
His plan includes creating new jobs from expanding on the wind and solar energy industry, providing incentives for homeowners and commercial building owners to upgrade their insulation and other energy saving options and to use the country's natural gas reserves to replace imported oil as fuel until another more viable option is available.
Pickens does not think using natural gas reserves is a permanent solution. He said it is a bridge to help buy the U.S. time to further develop alternative strategies for fuel.
"We can save two and a half million barrels of fuel a day by changing 18-wheelers to natural gas," Pickens said.
Switching to natural gas would also help the U.S. keep more of the $350 to $430 billion spent on imported oil every year, Pickens said.
In January, Pickens bought about 300 wind turbines -- less than half of what he planned to order to build the world's largest wind farm in Texas. The wind farm initially called for 687 turbines.