Representative Ed Orcutt (R – Kalama) does not think bicycling is environmentally friendly because the activity causes cyclists to have “an increased heart rate and respiration.”
This is according to comments he made in an email to a constituent who questioned the wisdom of a new bike tax the legislature is considering as part of a large transportation package.
We spoke with Rep. Orcutt to confirm the email’s authenticity and to get further clarification.
“You would be giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car,” he said. However, he said he had not “done any analysis” of the difference in CO2 from a person on a bike compared to the engine of a car (others have).
Email from Wash. rep. drawing ire from NW bike community
A Washington State Representative who serves as a ranking republican on the State Transportation Committee may be an unlikely proponent of a tax that would require everyone who buys a bike for more than $500 to pay a $25 fee.
His reason for supporting the tax, however, is raising some eyebrows in the Northwest biking community.
Rep. Ed Orcutt (R-Kalama) said in an email to bike shop owner Dale Carlson that, “since CO2 is deemed a greenhouse gas and a pollutant, bicyclists are actually polluting when they ride.”