State Representative says cyclists should be taxed for “emissions”

Ed Orcutt

Think biking to work is good for the environment? Think again, according to Washington state Rep. Ed Orcutt.

Orcutt wrote in a recent email that bicyclists should be taxed due to the greenhouse emissions they cause while riding.

The Republican who represents Kalama wrote in an email that he supports the inclusion of bicycles in the Washington House Transportation tax proposal, even though Orcutt said he’s “not much of a fan” of the proposal in general.

His “valid reasons” are that automobile drivers pay a tax to use the road, but not people who use the bicycle lanes on these roads.

Orcutt then wrote about the environmental impacts of riding a bike, and that’s where it all goes downhill.

“Also, you claim that it is environmentally friendly to ride a bike, he wrote. “But if I am not mistaken, a cyclists 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.”

That’s not altogether untrue, but certainly overblown. Bicyclists emit about one ounce of carbon dioxide per mile, while cars emit three-quarters of a pound per mile, which includes manufacturing, according to an analysis by the European Cyclists Federation.

The Representative issued a retraction via email on Wednesday.

“First of all, let me apologize for the carbon emissions line of an email which has caused so much concern within the bicycle community,” he said, according to Reuters. “It was over the top and I admit is not one which should enter into the conversation regarding bicycles. Although I have always recognized that bicycling emits less carbon than cars, I see I did a poor job of indicating that within my email.”

If the $10 billion Democrat-introduced transportation proposal passes, the bike sales tax would add $25 on top of bikes costing $500 or more, in addition to the sales tax. Projections show this fee would only bring in $1 million in revenue during the next 10 years.

What’s next — will the Washington state government begin taxing pedestrians who use the roads, too?

Comments

4 Responses to “State Representative says cyclists should be taxed for “emissions””

  1. Roger Mitchell says:

    I think they should be taxes and insured myself I was required to drive on average 100K miles a yr on average as my job in a larger city and I have witnessed many autos wreck to avoid a cyclist with their pants cuffed up and white shirt and tie heading into the office district in their bike lanes . I have came damn close to hitting a few myself as they would swerve from their bike lanes to pass a slower rider I witnessed a lady one day run up under a box truck pulling from the curve as she had to cut her steering wheel hard left to avoid a bike that was flying much faster then the car’s at 25 MPH down the hill on east Cary street , He did not stop he peddled faster I followed him 3 more block and clocked him at 57 mph I saw were he parked and chained his bike and walked in to worked I went back to the scene and told what I had seen as did several others already there.. Guy had no insurance on his bike and the ladies insurance had to pay the bill and her face was tore up ): NOT FAIR if you want to ride the public roads and street I say tax and insurance and some form of registration and a plate with a number to tell who you are just like a car or truck . And this could happen to anyone Judge found him guilty and he was sued for what it was worth ? But he was a young lawyer so I guess the lady got some compensation over the last 30 yrs ?

  2. Richard Shutts says:

    Sir, here we are trying to build up the Republican Party GOP and you say something stupid like this. Are you on the Washington Majaurana? If not all I can say is you can’t fix stupid. Richard

  3. Aaron Mounts says:

    If cycling were more than a fringe means of personal transport, I could agree with the requirements for registration and insurance. I wholly disagree with the tax under all circumstances. That said, law enforcement should be just as (if not more) aggressive against cyclists as they are against drivers. The stakes are far higher for cyclists as almost any impact with a vehicle will be fatal for them. Thus the enforcement of traffic laws and bicycling laws (helmets, reflective gear, lights, etc…) against them must be raised to match those stakes.

  4. UnapologeticallyAmerican says:

    If taxing bicyclists for the emissions they emit riding a bike (CO2), imagine how much we could generate by taxing the House & Senate for all the hot air they produce. We could probably ballance the budget.

Leave a Reply

Helen Mirren is absolutely 'anti-gun'
Well, you can add actress Helen Mirren’s name to the list of celebrities who love to shoot ‘em up on screen and rant about gun control off screen. Mirren gave a wide-ranging interview to Yahoo! Movies Monday where she spoke about everything from her love of Vin Diesel to her laundry style to her opinion […]
Tom Cotton objects to his SNL parody

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) had a problem with SNL’s spoof of him—but only because the actor selected to portray him was too short.

Maher tells PC liberals 'shut the f up'

Bill Maher's politics are not always the greatest. But when it comes to knocking down the liberal PC brigade, he is on point like no other.

SNL parodies Starbucks' race campaign

What if another company--say, Pep Boys (or Girls! Or Whatever!)--took on their own campaign to talk about gender and sexual identity?

SNL's "The Rock" Obama goes beast-mode

Dwayne Johnson hosted SNL last night, so naturally he had to play a muscled-up Obama, who can finally do all the things he really wants—like throw John Boehner through a window and rip of Tom Cotton’s hand.

White House

Carly Fiorina says there’s a ‘higher than 90 percent chance’ she’s running for president

Carly Fiorina’s 2016 campaign is all but certain now—and she’s making no secret as to whom she’ll be targeting.

White House promises not to use legal loophole to keep NSA spying alive if Patriot Act expires
If the Patriot Act expires, it will stop the National Security Agency’s bulk spying too. The Obama administration promised this week that it will not take advantage of a legal loophole to keep the NSA spying alive unless Congress re-authorizes the Patriot Act, Reuters reported. Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which authorizes the NSA to collect data on […]
In honor of National Puppy Day, here are the top 10 cutest presidential puppies

Today is National Puppy Day! To celebrate, we give you the top ten cutest puppies to grace the White House Lawn.

Obama: ‘By hook or by crook’ I’ll push my agenda through
This is probably not the smartest phrasing to use. President Obama had an interview with Huffington Post over the weekend and while much of the interview was his oft-repeated lines about how Republicans are the reason nothing is getting done in Washington, he added a new phrase about his legacy that is bound to raise […]
Obama tells Prince Charles that Americans like the royal family better than their own politicians

President Obama has admitted what we all already knew: Americans far prefer the Duchess of Cambridge to Michelle.

Congress

Sen. Harry Reid will not seek re-election
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, the wily Nevadan who dominated the Senate for a decade from the minority to the majority and back again, announced Friday he will retire after five terms. Reid, 75, who shepherded key Obama administration initiatives including the president’s health care law, lost his role as majority leader — […]
Schock: Lincoln faced challenges too
Embattled Rep. Aaron Schock (R- Ill.) gave his farewell speech on the House floor Thursday, promising that it was “not the end of a story, but rather the beginning of a new chapter.” While his own trials are more of the “Downton Abbey” decor and Katy Perry concert variety, Schock likened this tough time to that […]
Boehner, Pelosi read mean tweets
Taking a cue from Jimmy Kimmel’s famous “Mean Tweets” series, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) got in on the fun and read some mean tweets about themselves in a video for the 2015 Radio & Television Correspondents Association […]
GOP blocks Warren's student loan plan
THE HILL — Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked an effort by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to attach an amendment aimed at lowering student loan rates to the budget. Senators voted 46-53 against Warren’s amendment to the Republican budget resolution. Warren’s amendment would have allowed people with college loan debt to refinance at interest rates from […]
Rand really liked those 'Stand with Rand' trolls

During Ted Cruz's big announcement at Liberty University yesterday--which students were required to attend--some Rand Paul supporters decided to troll Cruz with some "Stand with Rand" shirts: