Published On: Tue, Mar 5th, 2013

Washington state Republican Ed Orcutt blames heavy breathing while riding a bike to global warming, CO2 emissions

A Washington state representative has identified another bizarre culprit in the battle against global warming. So move over earthworms, heavy breathing cyclist may be to blame also.

Lance Armstrong, a leader in the global warming crisis? photo donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

Lance Armstrong, a leader in the global warming crisis? photo donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

Ed Orcutt, who was 2000’s Washington Young Republican Federation Man of the Year, emailed the owner of a Tacoma bike shop who had written him to protest a proposed tax on bicycles, part of a larger state transportation bill.

Orcutt says it “makes sense that bicyclists would also be required to pay for the ‘roads’ they use when they are actually biking on them.”

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.

When contacted by the Seattle Bike Blog, representative Orcutt double down.

“You would be giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car,” he said, but he admitted that he had not “done any analysis” on the topic.

As the Seattle Times notes, Washington’s bike tax was part of a 10-year, $10 billion transportation package that was introduced in February by state House Democrats — legislation that would also impose a tax on purchases of cars, trucks and gasoline. The bicycle tax is expected to raise $1 million throughout a 10-year period.


Orcutt apologized in an email to the Seattle Bike Blog and The Seattle Times, writing, “I have always recognized that bicycling emits less carbon than cars, I see I did a poor job of indicating that within my e-mail. My point was that by not driving a car, a cyclist was not necessarily having a zero-carbon footprint. … I apologize.”


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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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  1. Car Free Cities: Impossible Dream or Future Reality? - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Washington State Republican Ed Orcutt blames heavy breathing while cycling as a culprit for global warming, most environmentalists agree that the bike is better for the environment than the car. With the […]

  2. Washington Lawmaker Claims Bicycling is Bad for the Environment and Should … – JDJournal.com | newzbuff.com says:

    […] Statement of the WeeK: Bike Riding Causes Air Pollutionnewjerseynewsroom.comTakePart -The Global Dispatch -KING5.comall 45 news […]



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