OLYMPIA, Wash. Washington lawmaker, Rep. Ed Orcutt (R-Kalama), admitted Monday that his comments regarding a proposed bicycle tax may have been a little over the line.

Orcutt said last week in an email to bike shop owner Dale Carlson that, since CO2 is deemed a greenhouse gas and a pollutant, bicyclists are actually polluting when they ride.

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After the email made the rounds online, causing an uproar within the Northwest bike community, Orcutt changed his tone.

In a statement to KGW s sister station KING5 in Seattle, Orcutt writes, First of all, let me apologize for the carbon emissions line of an e-mail which has caused so much concern within the bicycle community. It was over the top and I admit is not one which should enter into the conversation regarding bicycles.

The $25 bike fee in question was announced by House Democrats two weeks ago as part of an overall package that would raise a reported $9.8 billion over the next decade.

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On Monday, Orcutt said that he does not propose any taxes, especially carbon taxes, on bicyclists. He said he supports very little in the Democrat s tax proposal. However, Orcutt reiterated that he was for the tax on bicycles in order to pay for bicycle infrastructure.

Although I have always recognized that bicycling emits less carbon than cars, I see I did a poor job of indicating that within my e-mail. My point was that by not driving a car, a cyclist was not necessarily having a zero-carbon footprint, Orcutt said.

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