Getting politi-coal

Brz2l5QIgAAOfhkTruck OEMs have spent billions of dollars on minimizing the black smoke that once bellowed from exhaust stacks but for a couple hundred bucks, pickup owners can wipe all that out and make a political statement in the process. 

Playfully dubbed “rolling coal,” pickup owners have turned otherwise ordinary diesel engines into the picket signs of the highway. Rolling coal is nothing new, but its political connotations are somewhat recent. Born out of tractor pulls, rolling coal has recently become a sign for a generation of truck owners that is frustrated with President Barack Obama and his environmental policies. 

Recently, rolling coal has been also used as a guerrilla-style attack on bike riders, pedestrians and other smaller vehicles who leave their windows down.

Maybe it’s funny. Maybe it’s not. But, according to the EPA, it’s definitely illegal.

It is a violation of the [Clean Air Act] 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.