dennis peace

“Dick” was at the traffic light on Sunday when the light turned green. I heard him put his foot into his jacked up black pickup truck with huge tires and a manly black roll cage between two exhaust stacks of shiny chrome. I saw two clouds of thick black smoke that mostly billowed straight up, and then drifted with the wind and the turbulence behind the truck. Still, with the visibility at near zero, I saw the brake lights of a few vehicles go on as the diesel truck sped away from the scene that he polluted while “Rolling Coal.”

For some reason, some people (probably the diesel owners) like to roll coal, or pump out as much air polluting thick black smoke as possible. That’s mostly done by increasing the fuel intake of a diesel that wastes a lot of fuel and creates a lot of pollution. According to one Colorado report, 30% of their Front Range pollution is from vehicle emissions. Purposely adding to that pollution? Stupid, IMHO.

Facebook pages on rolling coal have more than 15,000 likes on these belching Prius repellants, The trend is not legal and Colorado has decided to legislatively crackdown on them. They are currently issuing more tickets and fines that may deter spewing thick, black, exhaust on pedestrians, bicyclists and other drivers. Add to that the cost of modifying their vehicles can exceed $4,000 and fuel mileage goes right out the tailpipe. The cost in human lives and damage is incalculable.

With increased prosecution in Colorado, it makes me think Wyoming could benefit from a similar program. I have seen several vehicles rolling coal in Wyoming but not many in recent months. In fact the one I saw recently is the first in many months, but I don’t get out much I guess. Maybe we have more common sense in The Cowboy State.

Wikipedia writes:

Rolling coal is the practice of intentionally disabling the Clean Burn Programming of a computer controlled diesel engine, so that the vehicle can emit an under-aspirated sooty exhaust that visibly pollutes the air. It also may include the intentional removal of the particulate filter. Practitioners often additionally modify their vehicles by installing smoke switches and smoke stacks. Modifications to a vehicle to enable rolling coal may cost from $200 to $5,000.

Rolling coal is a form of conspicuous air pollution by anti-environmentalists: "a very public way for conservative drivers to simultaneously broadcast that they aren't worried about whether humans are the cause of global warming and to openly mock the people who are.”