Romney Super-PAC Donor Also Big Climate Hawk

| Wed Feb. 22, 2012 12:39 PM PST

Over at Big Think, Matthew Nisbet flags an interesting factoid about the biggest donor to Mitt Romney's super-PAC: he's also a major donor to the Environmental Defense Fund.

Julian Robertson, a former hedge fund manager worth a reported $2.4 billion, has given $1 million to the Restore Our Future PAC, making him one of the biggest donors this year among actual people (as opposed to corporations).

As Nisbet notes, Robertson contributed more than $40 million to the Environmental Defense Fund between 2005 and 2009 "to support the group’s efforts to pass cap and trade legislation"—which accounted for nearly a third of the amount that the group spent on that effort over that time period.

Romney has been pretty squishy about the subject of climate change over the years, supporting a cap-and-trade plan as governor of Massachusetts before changing his mind. Most recently, he's taken to claiming that "we don't know what's causing climate change."

The goal of super-PAC donors is, ostensibly, to get their candidate of choice elected. But it's also about influencing that candidate's policy decisions. In Robertson's case, he's clearly spent a whole lot more money on getting climate policy passed than he has on Mitt Romney. So perhaps he's banking on Romney doing yet another about turn on climate once elected.

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