The governor has been candid in expressing his "misgivings about a casino in any city." He asserts that "the whole point is to create a resort destination." Urban residents have raised valid concerns about social and other impacts of casinos located in their communities. But have the governor's capable advisers clued him in to the environmental costs of creating miles-from-nowhere mega-magnets?
Deval Patrick's advisers often speak with passion and determination about the need to promote "smart" growth by bringing new jobs, better public transit, and affordable housing to our cities and towns. They acknowledge the obvious benefits of policies designed to get people out of their cars, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of air pollution associated with long driving distances. They also espouse smart growth as a way to stem the encroachment of low-density sprawl into the Commonwealth's dwindling farmland and forested areas, and as a way to keep highway construction and maintenance costs within bounds.
It's hard to imagine a development scheme more inimical to those worthy goals than the governor's resort casinos.