WA state legislator doesn’t understand CO2, transportation, science

WA state legislator doesn’t understand CO2, transportation, science


Ed Orcutt is confused.

Ed Orcutt is a Republican state representative in Washington, and he appears to be confused. As a member of the House Transportation Committee, Orcutt had a somewhat testy email exchange recently with a bike shop owner about a proposed bike fee. Reuters reports:

“You claim that it is environmentally friendly to ride a bike,” Orcutt wrote to Dale Carlson, the owner of three bicycle shops in the Tacoma and Olympia areas who voiced concern that a proposed $25 fee on bicycle sales of $500 or more could hurt his business.

“But if I am not mistaken, a cyclists has an increased heart rate and respiration … Since CO2 is deemed a greenhouse gas and a pollutant, bicyclist [sic] are actually polluting when they ride,” Orcutt wrote late last month.

Carlson thought Orcutt “was being sarcastic or something.” That wasn’t the case, but Orcutt soon felt compelled to apologize.

On Monday, Orcutt hit the brakes and made a U-turn.

“My point was that by not driving a car, a cyclist was not necessarily having a zero-carbon footprint,” Orcutt wrote in an email delivered to constituents. “In looking back, it was not a point worthy of even mentioning so, again, I apologize.”

Orcutt’s comments provide some insight into a twisted way of thinking. Cyclists breathe hard, so they’re just as bad as drivers! False equivalency! Republican science!

I mean, politics as usual.

Susie Cagle writes and draws news for Grist. She also writes and draws tweets for



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WA state legislator doesn’t understand CO2, transportation, science

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