The US is using oil, to a great extent, to support luxury lifestyles; long range commuting, urban sprawl, the oversized SUV as fashion accessory.
In what warped world view does the rising cost of such frivolous consumption constitute a national crisis?
The US could do a great many things to curb its oil consumption, and it should. Both because it is bad for the US to be dependent on foreign oil, and also because the US' own domestic reserves are, and should be recognized as, vital strategic assets, which must be conserved, for the sake of the nation's security.
The US should build nuclear plants, develop alternative power technologies, subsidize the production of electric cars, and cars running on alternative fuels. And enforce the conservation of oil.
Why don't they? I think it's because the US oil companies, who have a great deal of influence in Washington.
They are quite happy about the high price of oil. They know all the oil they could pull out of ANWR, or anywhere else, would not greatly affect the price: The dramatically rising worldwide demand will support a high price anyway.
But they would make themselves stinking rich in the process. And between you and me, this is what they care about.