Coal Rolling: What Is It, Why Do It, And Is It Legal?

By now, you may have heard of "Coal Rolling." If not, get ready to hear about something that is either awesome or ridiculous (or both).

"Coal Rolling," as it's commonly known, is the process of deliberately spewing black smoke into the sky via exhaust pipes from a truck. According to Newsweek, a simple modification to a diesel truck will allow the user to, on revving the engine, dump extra fuel into the engine, causing it to combust improperly and emit a plume of black smoke.

According to Daily Digest News, the mod can cost as much as $5,000. Also, the act of "coal rolling" deliberately causes the driver to waste fuel that would otherwise combust properly in the engine.

But that's not the point.

Rather, the point is to troll the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), environmentalists in general, and/or Barack Obama. According to Tech Times:

This activity is called rolling coal and it is meant to be a political statement, a means of sticking it to Obama and the liberals.
Coal rolling has developed something of a subculture on the internet. The Facebook community Rollin' Coal has 15,000 followers as of this post. Users post pictures of their trucks spewing black smoke on Tumblr and Instagram communities. And then there are the Youtube videos; a search for "Coal Rolling" on Youtube yielded 116,000 results, including this one, entitled "Prius Repellent."
Related: Comedian Paul Rodriguez Sounds Off On Environmentalism (Inquisitr)

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, coal rolling is illegal. EPA press secretary Liz Purchia told Talking Points Memo: "The short answer is that this is illegal." The longer answer comes directly from the EPA's website:

It is a violation of the CAA to manufacture, sell, or install a part for a motor vehicle that bypasses, defeats, or renders inoperative any emission control device. For example, computer software that alters diesel fuel injection timing is a defeat device. Defeat devices, which are often sold to enhance engine performance, work by disabling a vehicle's emission controls, causing air pollution. As a result of EPA enforcement, some of the largest manufacturers of defeat devices have agreed to pay penalties and stop the sale of defeat devices.
Despite the EPA's claim that coal rolling is illegal, it appears that enforcement is somewhat lax, at least as far as consumers are concerned. A google search for "Coal rolling ticket," and several related terms, failed to turn up any results of people admitting to having gotten a ticket.

What do you think of coal rolling? Childish nose-thumbing at the Obama Administration, or righteous indignation against the environmentalist movement? Or both? Let us know in the Comments.

Image source: Earth First Journal