Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy
Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy (CREA) states that it "believes conservation benefits all Americans".
"President George W. Bush has made great strides in protecting and improving the quality of America's air, land and water. Yet, some excessive and intolerant groups are attacking the president because his policies don't exclude people from the environment in which we live, work and play," it states on its website.
"CREA's mission is to foster environmental protection by promoting fair, community based solutions to environmental challenges, highlighting Republican environmental accomplishments and building on our Republican tradition of conservation. CREA believes that environmental goals are reached by finding common ground between individuals, the private sector and local conservationists...results that would be impossible to achieve without cooperation," it states.
In a profile of Norton, the Natural Resources Defense Council wrote of CREA that "true pro-environment Republicans, the Republicans for Environmental Protection, have called her group a 'green scam'."
In August 2004, a coalition of environmental groups released a report based on documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act revealing "that a Bush administration policy directive has eliminated federal Clean Water Act protections for streams, wetlands, lakes and rivers across the nation." 
At the heart of the report were 15 case studies documenting "how the administration's January 2003 policy directive has prompted federal regulators to avoid protecting ponds, lakes, rivers, and entire watersheds from toxic pollution."
CREA fired off a media release denouncing the report that the groups "will" release before it had even read the report. (Presumably CREA was responding to the details contained in a media advisory). CREA president Italia Federici claimed that if the groups were detailing 15 case studies, by implication "these organizations agreed with approximately 99,985 wetlands decisions made by the Corps -- a whopping 99.99%."
In July 2007, the organization's website was shut down. (Archives of the site can be seen on the Wayback Machine. ) This occurred shortly after the group's president, Italia Federici, was notified that she was the target of a criminal investigation  related to the scandal involving Jack Abramoff.
In a profile of Norton, the Natural Reseaource Defense Council referred to CREA as being "a group sponsored by mining, chemical and chlorine industries." 
Beginning early in 2001, Indian tribes gave more than $250,000 to CREA. The donations were made at the recommendation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff; the tribes were his clients. The suggestion for donations had come from staffers of Representative Tom DeLay, who were advising Abramoff on how to gain influence with Norton. On September 24, 2001, at a private fundraising dinner arranged by CREA, Coushatta tribal chairman Lovelin Poncho and Abramoff sat at Norton's table, while tribal attorney Kathy Van Hoof sat at another table with Norton's top deputy, Steven Griles. The Gun Lake tribe of Pottawatomi, one of the rivals of Abramoff's tribal clients, has said that it believed Abramoff's lobbying stalled Interior's approval of its casino by at least 14 months. 
- Italia Federici, President
A 2002 article on CREA states that "CREA's Board of Advisors is comprised of current and former chairmen, presidents, directors and trustees from America's leading environmental organizations. For more information about CREA's mission and Board of Advisors, please visit www.creaonline.org."  However, there are no details of the Board of Advisers on the organization's website.
(A late July 2004 media release listed the organization's address as 2100 M Street, NW • Number 303 Washington, DC 20037.)
Resources and articles
- Earthjustice, "America's Waters Vulnerable to Development, Pollution: Bush administration policy should be reversed", Media Release, August 12th, 2004.
- Earthjustice, National Wildlife Federation, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), and Sierra Club, "Reckless Abandon: How the Bush Administration is Exposing America's Waters to Harm", August 2004 .
- Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, "'Reckless Abandon' Filled With Reckless Disregard; Truth, Rule of Law Are Casualties of Sham NRDC, Sierra Club 'Report'", August 12, 2004.
- James V. Grimaldi and Susan Schmidt, "Senate Report: Five Nonprofit Groups Sold Clout to Abramoff," Washington Post, October 12, 2006.
- Mike Soraghan, "Group led by ex-Norton associate criticized," Denver Post, October 14, 2006.
- Emma Schwartz, "Federici is Latest Target in Abramoff Probe," Legal Times, April 2, 2007.
- Paul Kiel, "Paper: Conservative Think Tanker Is Investigation Target," TPMmuckraker, April 3, 2007.
- Daphne Retter, "What a difference a brush with the feds can make," The Hill, July 3, 2007.