09/23/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/23/2021 11:00
The Honorable Kyrsten Sinema
Hart Senate Office Building, 317
Washington D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Sinema:
On behalf of Patagonia's employees and the planet we all depend on, I write to strongly urge your support for the once-in-a-generation opportunity to avoid the direst impacts of the climate crisis and give working families the support they deserve through the budget reconciliation package. These are urgent issues that demand immediate attention.
Sound fiscal policy is certainly a key concern in thinking about how best to set up America's future generations for success. But as the conservationist David Brower said, "There is no business to be done on a dead planet." The cost of our inaction will be far higher than the cost of investing in science-based climate policies now.
Patagonia is willing to pay a higher corporate tax rate in order to generate new revenue needed to fund the reconciliation package. Another viable source of funding is to eliminate tax subsidies for oil and gas companies. As you know, U.S. direct subsidies to the fossil fuel industry account for approximately $20 billion each year, and cost Americans more than $649 billion annually when considering other health, environmental and climate externalities. Cutting these subsidies would not only push the needle on reducing emissions, but also save significant taxpayer dollars that could be repurposed to fund a just transition for workers in Arizona and beyond.
The investments in this critical legislation would accelerate an energy economy based on wind and solar, fund the Civilian Climate Corps and go a long way toward protecting threatened landscapes such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Oak Flat and offer important wildfire mitigation. The legislation also provides necessary funds for the protection, restoration and climate resiliency of our public lands, including so many that provide jobs and recreation for Arizonans.
Beyond taking action on climate, I also ask that you prioritize paid leave for workers. At Patagonia, we've seen firsthand how essential it is to support our employees with on-site child care and paid leave to maintain a robust and engaged workforce. Yet, nationally, fewer than 21 percent of workers have access to paid family leave through their employers. Attracting and retaining top talent and a speedy economic recovery depend on enabling people to return to the labor force by addressing the urgent issues of paid leave and child care availability.
Patagonia has thousands of customers and supports small businesses and environmental nonprofits in Arizona. As you consider how to proceed with budget reconciliation, I urge you to keep our communities, the future of our planet and America's working parents as your top priorities.
Ryan Gellert, CEO, Patagonia