02/26/2015 03:53 pm ET

Metals Magnate Wants To Turn Jeb Bush Green


An extremely wealthy Republican donor thinks he can get would-be 2016 presidential contender Jeb Bush to see the light on climate change, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Andrew Sabin, owner of the precious metals company Sabin Metal Corporation, is a big supporter of Republican causes and candidates. He's made big donations to Karl Rove's conservative political action committee American Crossroads, the Republican National Committee and to individual candidates like Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), just to name a few.

He's also given $5 million to support the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School. And through his foundation, the Sabin Family Foundation, he's also been a big donor to Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, Oceana and Earth Justice.

Jeb Bush is billed as a moderate on some issues, but has said he's "a skeptic" on climate change. Sabin says he thinks he can change that.

"I want him to be the next Teddy Roosevelt," Sabin told the Wall Street Journal. “We want to show that conservation is conservative and get Republicans back to their environmental roots without hurting jobs.”

Sabin also said he thinks there's precedent. “Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon were supporters of the environment,” he said. “With a lot of Republicans, they just need to be educated.”

Sabin was also a big booster of Mitt Romney in 2012. But while Romney promoted action on climate change as governor of Massachusetts, as a presidential candidate he said instead that "we don't know what's causing climate change" and made the subject a punch line in his campaign.

More recently, Romney has moved back toward the consensus view on climate change, saying at an event last month, "I'm one of those Republicans who thinks we are getting warmer and that we contribute to that."

Bush has been less committal. "I think global warming may be real," he said in a 2011 interview. "It is not unanimous among scientists that it is disproportionately manmade. What I get a little tired of on the left is this idea that somehow science has decided all this so you can’t have a view."



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