No, really! At least according to Representative Ed Orcutt of Kalama, WA. His explanation of why is a mind-boggling feat of pretzel logic. In an email exchange with a constituent, Orcutt explained himself. Sort of. See if you can follow the “logic” here:
“Also, you claim that it is environmentally friendly to ride a bike. But if I am not mistaken, a cyclists (sic) has an increased heart rate and respiration. That means that the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider. Since CO2 is deemed to be a greenhouse gas and a pollutant, bicyclists are actually polluting when they ride.” (Source)
Um… wow. The website that provided that exchange has verified it: Orcutt really is that stupid.
Another Seattle blogger at Seattle Bike Blog decided to follow-up with Rep. Orcutt. and was told that, yes, you really do give off more CO2 if you are riding a bike. Orcutt admitted that he had not done any analysis of the CO2 levels of bike riders as compared to drivers. As blogger Tom Fucoloro noted, others have.
Orcutt also believes that bike riders don’t pay for roads because they don’t pay a gas tax. But in Seattle, gas taxes only pay for one-quarter of the budget for road repair and maintenance. The truth is, everyone pays for the roads.
But that’s not good enough for Orcutt. This whole thing goes back to a new transportation bill being looked at by the Washington state legislature. Part of the bill includes a new bike tax that would add and extra 5% to sales taxes on bicycles. Mr. Fucoloro laid out why this is unacceptable in a previous blog and I agree with him 100%.
But I guess the real problem here – for me, at least – is the sheer idiocy of Orcutt’s claims. Does he not know that cars give off more CO2 than a hundred bike riders? I guess expecting him to know that passenger cars are the biggest creators of CO2 is too much to ask. After all, it was a study done in the European Union that found these figures. You know… socialist central. That he didn’t even think about the materials that go into the manufacture of bikes as opposed to cars, or the health benefits, should have come as no surprise. But seriously, dude – you CAN say that there is no pollution caused by riding a bicycle. Go ahead. That evil science will back you up even if you don’t believe in it.
[Note: Seattle Bike Blog is referenced in two links above; due to high volume traffic related to this story, their site has been cyclically off-line. If you can’t get access now, please try again later!]
T. Steelman is a life-long Liberal. She has been writing online about politics since 2007. She lives in Western Washington with her husband, daughter, 2 cats and a small herd of alpacas. How can anybody be enlightened? Truth is, after all, so poorly lit…