An American lawmaker has said cycling is bad for the environment. He also said cyclists should pay a tax to ride their bikes on the roads. Ed Orcutt, a representative from Washington State, sent an e-mail to the owner of a local bike shop to outline his thinking. He wrote: "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…a greenhouse gas…cyclists are actually polluting when they ride." Mr Orcutt said: "You can't just say that there's no pollution as a result of riding a bicycle….You would be giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car."
Mr Orcutt also believes cyclists should be taxed to use the roads. He said it was unfair that motorists have to pay all of the costs of building and repairing roads. He wrote: "Currently motorists are paying to use their cars on the roads…so if cars pay for the roads they are using, it only makes sense that bicyclists would also be required to pay for the roads they use when they are actually biking on them." Dale Carlson, owner of the Tech Bike Shop said Mr Orcutt's ideas were wrong. He wrote: "People who choose to ride a bicycle instead of driving a car actively reduce congestion." He added: "They save wear and tear on our roads and bridges, and reduce the [need for police] to patrol our highways."