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‘Rollin’ Coal’: The next big protest?

'Rollin' Coal' is becoming a more popularized form of protest for Conservatives.
'Rollin' Coal' is becoming a more popularized form of protest for Conservatives.
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Conservatives are ‘rollin’ coal’ to get their message across to liberals and environmentalists. On July 5, Business Insider states that this newly popularized subculture is becoming more widespread.

"Coal Rollers" are diesel trucks that have been altered to produce more exhaust. These trucks are equipped with chimney stacks that with added fuel to the engine pour out black soot. This trend is now a political or cultural statement of those who drive them.

In an article from Vocativ last month, this trend started with truck pulling- a competition to see whos truck can pull the most weight. Drivers started modifying trucks by adding more fuel to the engine to get more horsepower, torque and speed. With the added fuel trucks also spew out large clouds of soot.

These trucks are now used as a symbol of disapproval of the Obama administration, emissions regulations, Environmental Protection Agency, and environmentalists. Which is where they focus their pollution: When said drivers encounter a vehicle, such as a hybrid, they rev their engines and shoot smoke at the car. The “Prius repellent” YouTube video shows what is meant by blowing coal at ‘rice burners’/Japanese-made cars. There are pages on Facebook among other social media outlets were supports post about these trucks.

Tension between coal rollers and environmentalists continues to grow on social media. Both sides have posted their opinion on how the other behaves and their values.

Those who would like to alter their truck in this way could spend up to thousands on modifications. Although not every diesel truck driver partakes in this trend, many who do are said to do it because of what it stands for. “I run into a lot of people that really don’t like Obama at all,” a stack kit seller in Wisconsin told Slate. “If he’s into the environment, if he’s into this or that, we’re not. I hear a lot of that. To get a single stack on my truck—that’s my way of giving them the finger. You want clean air and a tiny carbon footprint? Well, screw you.”

According to the Clean Air Task Force diesel exhaust is the most prevalent toxic air pollution. President Obama’s Climate Action Plan is continuing to be pushed. Huffington Post reported on July 3 that clean energy projects will have access to $4 billion in loans from the Department of Energy .

Although there continues to be a push for the environment, Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University told Scientific American "Marginal cuts by the U.S. don't have a long-term overall big effect on the climate," he said. "What has to happen to have a big effect on the global climate is for all the big emitters to get together and decide that they are all going to cut some substantial fraction [of emissions]."