Washington Politico Apologizes for Blunder

<p>Cycles</p>

Cycles

(AP) -- A Washington state lawmaker has apologized for asserting in an email that bicyclists pollute the air with their heavy breathing.

But Republican Rep. Ed Orcutt of Kalama says his email used "inflated language" but did not retract his claim.

Orcutt, the ranking minority member of the House Transportation Committee, claimed that cyclists contribute to climate change with their "increased heart rate and respiration."

Orcutt's claims were made last week in a response to an email sent to more than 30 state lawmakers from Dale Carlson, the owner of three bike stores.

Carlson was upset about a proposal to create a $25 fee for all new bike purchases of $500 or more as part of a transportation revenue package.

Orcutt, a conservative who opposes most tax increases, said cyclists should help pay for the upkeep and construction of roads.