Patagonia and Columbia, both major retail operators in the outdoor space, are standing up to support a lawsuit brought against the Environmental Protection Agency by the American Lung Association and American Public Health Association in 2019.
The two iconic brands oppose a decision by the EPA to overturn the 2015 Clean Power Plan, which regulated greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA replaced the CPP with the Affordable Clean Energy Rule, but an Amicus Brief filed by Patagonia and Columbia says that the ACE isn’t strict enough in regulating emissions.
By filing a formal legal document, Patagonia and Columbia are advocating for the protection of our public lands for outdoor recreation rather than fossil fuel exploration and development. Specifically, the brief asks judges to all consider future impacts of overturning the CPP on the outdoors industry, an $887 billion economic goliath. Patagonia posted a summary of the brief, which is not yet scheduled for an oral hearing, to its Medium page in late April.
Businesses in the extraction industry stand to benefit immensely from the reduced emissions regulations proposed in the ACE, but Patagonia and Columbia insist that outdoor industry brands, their consumers, and the public at large will experience the opposite. According to the EPA’s own findings, an annual 1,400 premature deaths could stem from stripping away the CPP, due to the likely increase in carbon emissions resulting from increased fossil fuel development and use. Its argument also includes concerns regarding the use of public lands embraced by the outdoor community and the long-term threat posed by the impacts of climate change on our natural environment.
“From the perspective of thousands of US businesses that depend on a stable climate and wilderness preservation — including those, like amici [curiae Patagonia Works (Patagonia)], in the outdoor recreation industry — this is not an abstract concern,” the brands say in the brief, going on to explain that “the potential for economic disruption caused by climate change is already in focus and entirely predictable.”
The public can view other briefs and filings in the case via Climate Case Chart. No hearing date or response to the amicus brief has yet been announced.