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Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) -- T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire energy investor, said the U.S. spent $337 billion in 2010 on oil imports, a 28 percent gain from the previous year.

The U.S. imported 61 percent of its oil last year, according to the Federal Reserve Economic Database, Pickens said today in an e-mailed statement. The U.S. is sending approximately $641,172 per minute to other countries to pay for the oil, Pickens said.

“America has an energy crisis that needs to be addressed,” Pickens said. “In 2010, we imported 4.25 billion barrels of oil at a cost of $337 billion, putting our economic and national security at risk.”

President Barack Obama should use next week’s State of the Union address to announce plans to use natural gas to power vehicles and increase the use of nuclear power and renewable energy, Pickens said.

Pickens unveiled a national energy plan on July 8, 2008 that relies on domestically produced natural gas to cut U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Link to Company News: {104681Z US <Equity> CN <GO>}

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Shenk in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at

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