Then there was Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, who had the bad sense to be flippant in an e-mail, which in 2013 amounts to spray painting an expletive about one’s boss on a brick wall, and signing one’s name.
Orcutt derided the House Democrats’ recent proposal to come up with some $10 billion for transportation projects through a series of tax and fee increases. A long-time foe of most tax increases, Orcutt allowed as how there was one he could countenance: a proposed $25 fee for new bikes costing more than $500, to be used to help pay for bike lanes and trails.
When the owner of a bike shop wrote to tell Orcutt why that was a dumb idea, he responded essentially that it was time for bike riders to pick up a share of the cost of the roads on which they ride. Then he went a bit further.
“Also, you claim that it is environmentally friendly to ride a bike. But 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 diozxide from the rider. Since CO2 is deemed to be a greenhouse gas and a pollutant, bicyclists are actually polluting when they ride.”
His e-mail quickly found its way to the Cascade Bicycle Club’s blog, from whence it made its way around cyberspace. He later apologized, saying he was trying to make the point that biking isn’t a zero-pollution activity, but did it poorly and probably shouldn’t even have gone there.