Imagine you're a Seattle cyclist merrily commuting to work on your bike, a thermos of fair trade coffee in hand and a hemp messenger bag slung over your shoulder. You'd think you were Gaea's gift to environmentalism, right?
WRONG! You are a goddamned monstrous eco-villain! So says Rep. Ed Orcutt (R-Kalama), the ranking Republican on Washington State's House Transportation Committee, in a letter to a bicycle store owner:
"If I am not mistaken, a cyclist 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."
This was Rep. Orcutt's explanation for why he'd be supporting a sales tax proposal that would require everyone who buys a bike for more than $500 to pay a $25 fee.
As long as we assume that every cyclist is eating a diet of pure petroleum (and motorists don't eat anything and never burn calories), Orcutt's argument makes sense, but doesn't go nearly far enough. Wait till he learns about running.
Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Energy & Oil, Environment, State Legislature, Washington