Bush officials, Environmental Defense Fund join in appeal to conservatives

Myron Ebell, who directs the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Center for Energy and Environment, dismissed the council as "one of several attempts by the environmental movement to create front groups to move the Republican Party and the conservative movement in a green direction. Perhaps we could call them the Light Greens."

Ebell said Norton was often criticized by environmental groups during her tenure as Interior Secretary, but pursued "federal-private partnerships with the Nature Conservancy, other land trusts, and big landowners to lock up private land and take it out of production and off the tax rolls."

Similarly, R.J. Smith, an adjunct environmental scholar at CEI, compared the CLC to an earlier effort to generate support among Republicans, the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy that was active during the Clinton administration.

Smith said CREA "championed radically green Republicans" and CLC similar appears to him as an effort "to serve as a Pied Piper to lead conservatives and congressional staffers down a green brick path."