What Kat just said.
DougR, I know the amount of oil in ANWAR is debatable, but the most generous estimates are several years' worth. If new oil-dependent power plants are built, the start-up costs will be high and the developers will feel they have to continue oil use to make their investments pay off. Alternative sources such as wind, solar, and the use of hydrogen (not in combination with diesel fuels, etc.) are not light years away from being usable as our main power sources.
It is time for us to look down the road beyond the end of our noses.
ANWAR is not a short-term solution, either!
As you said, if ANWAR holds only a few months' worth of oil,"There would be no point in drilling at all if that is all that is there." I would say the same thing applies if it holds five years' worth.
Throwing money at technologies that will (or should and can) be obsolete within five to ten years is folly, especially when the side effect is environmental contamination.
As you say, "The need is now." Drilling in ANWAR won't help now.
Again, as Kat said, the point is to take controversial stuff like this off the table so we can focus in a united fashion on the "war."