Skip to main content

In another installment of things Republicans say that are so stupid you just can't make them up, Washington state rep Ed Orcutt, a Republican, claimed in an email to a constituent regarding a bike tax he supported, that bicycles were bad for the environment because they caused cyclists to have “an increased heart rate and respiration".

Reached for comment, he added that:

“You would be giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car,”
Seriously, he said these things, according to the Seattle Bike Blog.

Apparently a constituent, Dale Carlson, owner of a bicycle store in Tacoma, WA, sent him an email opposing a proposal that Orcutt supported that would impose an additional sales tax on bicycles on top of regular sales tax (which is already the highest in the country in WA at over 9%), in order to pay for the roads that cyclists use that Orcutt claimed (wrongly) they don't pay for at present. So Orcutt sent him an email in response, in which he justified the new tax, in part by claiming that cyclists generate more pollution than cars.

State lawmaker defends bike tax, says bicycling is not good for the environment
Posted on March 2, 2013 by Tom Fucoloro   

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).

“You can’t just say that there’s no pollution as a result of riding a bicycle.”

Someone please tell me this was snark. Please, I beg you.

In any case, putting aside these, ahem, deep thoughts about cycling, pollution and the environment, Orcutt is also wrong on the notion that cyclists don't pay for the roads that they ride on, that he claims drivers do.

First, the majority of funds that go towards building and maintaining roads, including bike lanes, comes from general revenue, not gas or vehicle taxes or license and registration fees, which everyone, including cyclists, pays into, via sales, property, income and other taxes--some of them not local or even state, but federal.

Second, to the extent that vehicle-related taxes and fees pay for roads, the vast majority of cyclists also own and drive vehicles, and pay these taxes and fees as much as non-cyclists.

And third, the wear and tear that bicycles impose on public roads is miniscule verging on infinitesimal compared to that imposed on them by cars, motorcycles and trucks. Powered vehicles weigh anywhere from hundreds to thousands of pounds. Most bikes weigh anywhere from 15 to 40 pounds. Do the math, even if you include the weight of the driver.

I wonder if Mr. Orcutt has done an analysis of how much pollution is caused by Republicans opening their mouths or attempting to use their brains?

Originally posted to kovie on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:38 AM PST.

Also republished by Koscadia, Climate Hawks, and Climate Change SOS.


What's worse for the environment?

0%2 votes
5%24 votes
2%10 votes
31%143 votes
36%167 votes
20%94 votes
4%21 votes

| 461 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, Bob Johnson, SME in Seattle, filkertom, Odysseus, hester, lapin, grollen, copymark, karlpk, Shockwave, eeff, xynz, exNYinTX, dinazina, 88kathy, CoolOnion, KMc, pedrito, bwren, oceanview, aitchdee, revsue, psnyder, Boppy, yet another liberal, Catte Nappe, harrije, Major Kong, zerelda, Steven D, vacantlook, rolet, nailbender, bowtieguru, marina, Tinfoil Hat, NoMoreLies, tle, democracy inaction, elkhunter, dewtx, ChemBob, viral, Dobber, Gary Norton, sunbro, Shotput8, Rogneid, bently, begone, Philpm, Sanuk, Captain Sham, Orinoco, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, myboo, AoT, Utahrd, global citizen, StrayCat, middleagedhousewife, SingerInTheChoir, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, pgm 01, FoundingFatherDAR, paz3, FishOutofWater, DWG, sfbob, artisan, jedennis, cyncynical, AnnArborDem, carpunder, RudiB, Wreck Smurfy, GeorgeXVIII, Assaf, rmonroe, mconvente, kingneil, Youffraita, Arlys, bythesea, lavorare, monkeybrainpolitics, Calamity Jean, Lujane, tofumagoo, petulans, David Futurama, statsone, squarewheel, maggiejean, notrouble, NWTerriD, kevinpdx, Question Authority, Cats r Flyfishn, jfromga, piers, SeattleTammy, mookins, cazcee, samanthab, ItsSimpleSimon, anonevent, rja, DrTerwilliker, Oh Mary Oh, slice, Bluefin, slowbutsure, Nicci August, deeproots, zukesgirl64, sethtriggs, SueM1121, antooo, Vatexia, this is only a test, MikeBoyScout, RLMiller, leftykook, StratCat, Mentatmark, Mathazar, jacey, Pinto Pony, ridemybike, anodnhajo, Flying Goat, cwsmoke, Siri, Trevin, Horace Boothroyd III, Mr Robert, BusyinCA, OllieGarkey, FrY10cK, Glen The Plumber, James Wells, TheLawnRanger, Silvia Nightshade, Steve Canella, Greenfinches, Chaddiwicker, John Crapper, Dallas L, dear occupant, SixSixSix, ORswede, Smoh, peterfallow, ET3117, Blazehawkins, Jim Domenico, Edmund Xu, TheDuckManCometh, OldSoldier99

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site