TODAY MORE than ever, Americans are starved for two interrelated commodities: fuel and fun. Given that American oil companies are reporting their greatest profits ever, it's time for them to invest in a new vision for Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Oil drilling should be part of a smart-growth, mixed-use development -- a world-class resort with casinos, malls and strip clubs (think caribou-fur thongs).
Drilling will require 1,500 miles of roads and pipelines. Developers could turn the roads into pay-per-ride snowmobile raceways and run neon lights along the pipes, creating cutting-edge art visible from every hotel room. Golf courses could integrate oil spills as the Arctic equivalent of sand traps. The novelty-seeking public would find this far more amusing than wilderness, with its stinky musk ox and those notoriously ill-tempered polar bears.
Indeed, a three-star restaurant would serve exotic game, prepared with gourmet sauces from summer berries. When those species die out, the chefs could import fresh polar bear and caribou meat from Texas game ranches.