GOP Lawmaker Blasts Patagonia For Wimping Out On Offer To Testify In Congress

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Tim Pearce Energy Reporter
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Republican Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah accused Patagonia’s founder of keeping an “ideological bubble” for declining to testify in front of Congress over President Donald Trump’s decision to cut back two national monuments in Utah.

“In my 15 years of congressional service I have found most people jump at the opportunity to share their views before Congress – at least those who are confident their positions can survive public scrutiny,” Bishop said in a letter to Yvon Chouinard, according to The Washington Examiner on Friday. “Admittedly, your company press releases, letters, and op-eds outline your positions on various public land issues. They reveal an approach to corporate activism derived from within a limited ideological bubble.”

“They appear to reflect a worldview of someone who rarely, if ever, encounters people with different viewpoints,” Bishop added. “It is unfortunate you continue to shield yourself from competing viewpoints.”

Bishop, chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, offered Chouinard a chance to testify on Capitol Hill after Chouinard and Patagonia sued the Trump administration over changes to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

“I find it disingenuous that after unethically using taxpayers’ resources to call us liars, [Bishop] would ask me to testify in front of a committee for a matter already decided by the administration and applauded by the Utah delegation,” Chouinard wrote in a blog post.

Patagonia is involved in a campaign to raise money and drive public sentiment against the cutbacks, accusing Trump of “stealing” public land.

“In an illegal move, the president just reduced the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments,” a message posted on Patagonia’s website says. “This is the largest elimination of protected land in American history.”

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