Seventeen Asheville area restaurants using a $285,000 grant from a little known state government agency called the NC Green Business Fund to the Asheville Independent Restaurant association. I guess the word independent here does not refer to being independent of their fellow citizen’s tax dollars. According to this article in the Asheville Citizen Times the grant will be used to allow 17 Asheville area restaurants to “retrofit their hot-water systems with solar panels, upgrade their lighting and take other measures to meet the standards for Certified Green Restaurant status.” This status is bestowed upon restaurants by a non-profit called the Green Restaurants Association which proudly lists endorsements by such left with groups like the Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resource Defense Council. The latter is the group that perpetrated the phony alar scare which devastated apple farming in this country back in 1989. Apparently these changes and the “certified green label” that they bring are not changes that these restaurants would consider worth making if they had to use their own money. The amazing thing is that after all the spending cuts that went into balancing this year’s state budget and all the teeth gnashing about loss of state jobs, programs like this continue to flourish. (HT to my colleague Jon Sanders)