People my age will remember the day a young, charismatic President challenged the nation to put a man on the moon before the decade’s end. Despite the odds, America rose to meet John F. Kennedy’s challenge. Why? Because we’re a can-do nation. It’s in our spirit.

Fast-forward about 40 years. Some politicians, including the President, are telling us we can’t meet our future energy needs without drilling in special places, including the Arctic Refuge.

What happened to the can-do American spirit that put a man on the moon? Are we really to believe that despite all our ingenuity and technological prowess, we have no choice but to sacrifice our nation’s largest and most pristine wildlife refuge for oil?

The truth, of course, is that the Arctic Refuge doesn’t contain enough oil to meet America’s energy needs. For that matter, neither does any other place in the United States. We consume one-fourth of the world’s daily production of oil, yet sit atop just three percent of its reserves, including the oil in the Refuge. No amount of domestic drilling is going to bridge that gap.

Most Americans understand this–we want cleaner, safer, cheaper ways of meeting our energy needs, not a drilling frenzy. Fortunately, practical solutions exist. Making the average car go just three miles per gallon farther on a gallon of gas, for example, would save more oil than could ever be extracted from the Refuge!

The answers are right in front of us. What’s lacking is the political will to make them a reality.

Don’t let anyone tell you we can’t. Instead, ask your leaders why they won’t.