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Twenty-nine members of Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) yesterday sent a letter to Congress in support of significant climate provisions in the proposed budget reconciliation legislation.
“The reconciliation bill being debated offers a historic chance to pass legislation significant enough to tackle these climate issues head on and make progress on many of the policies key to the outdoor industry’s continued success,” the letter states. “These priorities include programs to promote natural climate solutions and resilience, increase access to parks and outdoor spaces for underserved communities, and accelerate the transition to renewable energy. This is a moment when individual, business, and federal government action matters—and we are proud to take this stand.”
The letter then specified its signatories’ goals with actionable initiatives. It called for the creation and funding of a Civilian Climate Corps to aid the implementation of this year’s Great American Outdoors Act. Much like the Civilian Conservation Corps of the Roosevelt era, the proposed CCC would provide jobs to local communities while addressing the maintenance backlog in the country’s national parks and public lands.
Also mentioned were the bipartisan-supported Growing Climate Solutions Act, which will promote natural climate solutions in agriculture and Urban Parks/Outdoor Recreation Legacy Parks Program and Every Kid Outdoors to increase access to outdoor spaces in traditionally underserved communities. The letter also emphasized the importance of programs that make renewable energy more accessible and create jobs, like the Clean Electricity Performance Program and funding for electric vehicle and electric bicycle infrastructure.
“It’s one thing when OIA lobbies congress, but it’s so much more impactful when we can rally a mix of large and small outdoor companies to sign letters like this,” Lise Aangeenbrug, executive director of OIA, told Outside Business Journal.
“Companies like mine need to take responsibility and put our creativity to work to decarbonize. But scaling those efforts across industries at the rate that is needed will take the right federal policies and programs,” Cam Brensinger, founder and CEO of NEMO Equipment, told Outside Business Journal. “If we do this work together, we can turn what might have been disaster into another proud chapter in the history of this country, and at a time when we need reminders of our shared identity and purpose.”
The 29 signatories as of press time are: 22 Designs, BioLite, Burton, Carhartt, Eddie Bauer, evo, Hydro Flask, K2 Sports, Klean Kanteen, L.L. Bean, MiiR, NEMO Equipment, New Balance, Nite Ize, Oberalp North America, Osprey, Outdoor Afro, Orvis, PacWesty, Patagonia, PeopleForBikes, Public Lands, REI, Ruffwear, Simms Fishing Products, Snow Peak, Specialized Bicycle Components, SRAM and Toad&Co.