The press release from Johnson's group, an obscure conservative think tank founded by Johnson in 2004 when he was 24, was given splashy attention on the highly-trafficked Drudge Report Monday evening, and former Gore aides saw it as part of a piece, along with an Fox News Channel investigation from earlier this month of Gore's use of private planes in 2000. Last year, a seemingly amateurish Youtube video mocking the "An Inconvenient Truth" turned out to have been produced by slick Republican public relations firm called DCI, which just happens to have oil giant Exxon as a client.
"Considering that he spends an overwhelming majority of his time advocating on behalf of and trying to affect change on this issue, it's not surprising that people who have a vested interest in protecting the status quo would go after him," said the former Gore aide.
Kreider says she's confident that the Gores' utility bills will decrease. "They bought an older home and they're in the process of upgrading the home," she said. "Unfortunately that means an increase in energy use in order to have an overall decrease in energy use down the road."
Gore is not the only environmentalist associated with "An Inconvenient Truth" who has come under fire for personal habits -- and not all the criticism has come from the Right.
Writing in The Atlantic Monthly in 2004, liberal writer Eric Alterman criticized producer Laurie David for her use of private Gulfstream jets. David, he wrote "reviles the owners of SUVs as terrorist enablers, yet gives herself a pass when it comes to chartering one of the most wasteful uses of fossil-based fuels imaginable." New Republic writer Gregg Easterbrook followed up, computing that "one cross-country flight in a Gulfstream is the same, in terms of Persian-Gulf dependence and greenhouse-gas emissions, as if she drove a Hummer for an entire year."
In an interview in 2006, David told ABC News that she was limiting her use of private planes and was flying commercial far more frequently.