Breathing heavily while riding? Then you're harming the environment, says Washington state representative

Cyclists give off more CO2 than drivers, says Washington politician

Former Young Republican Federation Man of the Year and Washington state representative Ed Orcutt has justified a proposed tax on cyclists, saying riders produce more CO2 than car drivers, according to this story.

Orcutt said that cycling causes riders to have an "increased heart rate and respiration", meaning riders are "giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car" – told to the Seattle Bike Blog by Orcutt after they investigated the story.

The claim, made after the representative admitted he not "done any analysis", was made to bike shop and constituent Bike Tech after it questioned the wisdom of a proposed new tax on bicycles.

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

Since the initial exchanges Orcutt has, to his credit, apologised for his stance and said that bicycle carbon emissions are "not a point worthy of even mentioning". Read the full letter here.

According to the European Cyclists Federation’s CO2 calculator, a cyclist produces 21 grams of CO2 every km. The amount of CO2 produced by a car driver might be less well documented, but the ECF says a car produces around 271 grams of CO2 per km.

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