Cross-posted from ThinkProgress Green.
Mitt Romney’s top individual donor is Environmental Defense Fund board member Julian H. Robertson Jr., who has given $1.3 million to the Romney super PAC Restore Our Future even though Romney has viciously attacked the climate cap-and-trade policies EDF supports. A spokesperson for the hedge-fund billionaire said Robertson is confident Romney would “do the right thing” if elected:
In terms of the environment and climate-change controls, which [Robertson] does believe is one of the most important issues the country and the world faces, he has confidence that Romney, once he’s in there, will do the right thing.
Robertson has been a long-time supporter of Romney, saying he’s “the smartest guy I’ve ever seen” in 2007. Robertson vigorously supported Obama’s cap-and-trade bill in 2009, because of the “danger of global warming.”
“My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us.” [10/28/11]
“I can tell you the right course for America with regard to energy policy is to focus on job creation and not global warming.” [11/2/11]
“I do not believe in a cap-and-trade program.” [10/28/11]
“In place of real energy, Obama has focused on an imaginary world where government-subsidized windmills and solar panels could power the economy. This vision has failed.” [3/5/12]
“I would get the EPA out of its effort to manage carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles and trucks.” [12/5/11]
Other donors are also betting on a colossal climate flip-flop by Romney, Politico reports, including billionaire Trammel Crow [PDF], Republicans for Environmental Protection President Rob Sisson, and former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean (R). Romney is advised by Greg Mankiw, a conservative Harvard economist who has called for a carbon tax.
However, Team Romney is flush with oil and coal supporters, including oil-shale billionaire Harold Hamm, coal kingpin Bill Koch, tar-sands lobbyist David Wilkins, coal-power lobbyist Jeffrey Holmstead, and coal lobbyist Jim Talent. Coal, oil, and gas companies have contributed at least $1.2 million to Romney’s super PAC.