In his monthly update on the level of foreign oil imports in the U.S., energy expert T. Boone Pickens said that based on the latest figures from the Federal Reserve Economic Database, the U.S. imported 62 percent of its oil, or 362 million barrels in May 2011, sending approximately $41.7 billion, or $934,357.63 per minute, to foreign countries.

“OPEC’s dangerous decision today to keep production levels constant and thereby keeping oil prices high reinforces the need to get on our own resources if we seriously want to address the ongoing price volatility and address our national security concerns.”

“The oil import numbers continue to be astronomical and our country continues to suffer as a result,” said Pickens. “In a time of great economic turmoil, our crippling dependence on OPEC oil represents the height of fiscal irresponsibility – particularly when we have the ability to use our own vast domestic natural gas resources.”

“OPEC’s dangerous decision today to keep production levels constant and thereby keeping oil prices high reinforces the need to get on our own resources if we seriously want to address the ongoing price volatility and address our national security concerns.”

“Our addiction to OPEC oil constitutes the greatest transfer of wealth in history and is tantamount to a subsidy for terrorism. We are sending immense sums of money to countries run by dictators and unstable regimes that continue to experience armed conflict, social unrest and demonstrate hostility towards America. We do this in spite of the fact that we possess a cheaper, cleaner, and more abundant domestic resource in natural gas.”

“The NAT GAS Act (H.R. 1380) represents a rare opportunity to effect real change in America, which is why the legislation has garnered such tremendous bi-partisan support. We now have 84 Republican and 106 Democratic representatives co-sponsoring the legislation because they realize we must act now. The NAT GAS Act provides a real path for Congress to enhance national security, create American jobs, and improve our economy and environment. We simply cannot afford to let this opportunity go to waste.”

The NAT GAS Act (H.R. 1380) encourages the use of domestic natural gas to fuel heavy-duty vehicles, simultaneously improving our national security and strengthening our economy. The legislation, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman John Sullivan, R-Okla., Congressman Dan Boren, D-Okla., Congressman John Larson, D-Conn., and Congressman Kevin Brady, R-Texas., currently has 190 bipartisan co-sponsors from across the country – that includes Tea Party members from the Republican Study Committee; the Black Caucus; and, the Blue Dog Coalition. Additionally, President Barack Obama has declared his support for using natural gas to wean America off OPEC oil and secure our energy future. The Pickens Plan to encourage more heavy-duty vehicles to run on domestic resources is included in the NAT GAS Act.