Tales from a Shock Jockey: We See Them Rollin’, and Hatin’…

truck_rollinCoalWhen I first heard about it, I was convinced it had to be a joke.

It had to be.

No, this is a thing.

On Facebook. On Tumblr. On Instagram.

And now, in the air.

As reported by Vocative, a new protest against President Barack Obama and environmentalists has taken to the streetsRollin’ Coal. The Facebook page reads as “for all the diesel lovers out there” but this community has apparently evolved into a statement against green drivers. How Rollin’ Coal works—keeping it to the basics here—is modifying a pick-up truck to intentionally spew thick soot either from massive exhaust pipes or smoke stacks. The Rollin’ Coal folks call this “Prius Repellant” and post both video and memes celebrating their “victories” on the road. The kits and the modifications, Slate reports, are legal (although the EPA disagrees); but as one Wisconsin vendor tells reporters:

“I run into a lot of people that really don’t like Obama at all. 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.”

Modifying your truck to protest clean air initiatives? That’s about as smart as staging a protest of “I don’t like khakis, so I’m going to wear my blue jeans and fart in your face because khakis.” Such is this the latest protest against our President and environmentalists.

Okay, setting aside the American Cancer Society’s findings to diesel exhaust attributing to adverse effects to one’s health, let’s look at another possible reason why people choose EVs.

The Ford F-150, the best-selling vehicle in the United States for the past 32 years, and the best-selling pick-up for 43 years, offers different variations on a theme. According to collected statistics from Ford’s website, the overall mileage for all 2014 F-150 Models:

  • 14 miles (city)
  • 20 miles (highway)
  • 16 miles (combined)

Compared to the United States’ top-selling plug-in EV, world’s best-selling hybrid, American made, 2014 Chevrolet Volt:

  • 35 miles (city)
  • 40 miles (highway)
  • 37 miles (combined)
  • With regular plug-in and recharge, 98 miles (combined)

98 mpg against 16 mpg? Pretty clear cut, from where I’m standing.

obama-voltBut because of a photo opportunity in Detroit and an appreciation of carcinogen-free air, this makes me a “nature nuffie” driving an Obamamobile?

I can’t really confirm or deny any of that—nor can I confirm or deny that the President hand-stitches the leather upholstery of each Volt coming off the assembly line—but I can vouch for what GM has reported from their Volt network

  • Volt owners are doing 63% of of their overall driving in Volts in electric-only mode, using only the plug-in charge and not the car’s backup gas engine.
  • Volt owners who charge regularly typically drive more than 970 miles between fill-ups.
  • Volt owners have reduced gas consumption by more than 25 million gallons, the equivalent of no gasoline being used in Washington D.C. for 2½ months.

So if that makes me a nature nuffie (seriously, I know “nuffie” is an insult, but it’s got a charm to it…) driving on the farthest left of liberal agendas, okay then. I’ll make sure to scream out more statistics from Plug-In America and Green Car Reports as you’re filling up your tricked-out truck at the pumps. Again.

I will admit not understanding the use of a massive truck, especially the ones with four wheels underneath the bed, as a commuter vehicle; but that doesn’t give me the right to key said commuter’s truck or something just as obnoxious. This “Rollin’ Coal” protest is just that: obnoxious. Don’t take this nature nuffie’s word for it though (okay, I’m kinda digging the word nuffie now…), but from a website of the truck driving community:

“Can we agree that this is not the right way to execute a protest? There have been several reports, including this one in the Huffington Report Green edition, about ‘rolling coal’ protests. These articles portray turbo-diesel pickup truck owners in a light that won’t do any pickup truck owners any good.”

If “Rollin’ Coal” is accomplishing anything, it’s perpetuating stereotypes. Exceedingly well, as this screen capture from Facebook post from July 8 illustrates:

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 9.52.36 AM

Look, if you want to modify your truck to improve performance and fuel efficiency, I’m all for that. Especially if you are using trucks for serious work. Better performance and increasing mileage is great. I’m not shaming those who drive trucks. Not at all. I’ve driven heavy duty vehicles, and full understand the need for them. I get that.

IMG_0003_2Rollin’ Coal? Nope. I don’t get that at all. Totally at a loss.

I’m such a nature nuffie.


  1. The thing is… it’s not about clean air. You said it in your first quote: It’s about people who hate Obama.

    That’s it.

    They’re against anything that Obama is for. Obama is for clean air, they want to dirty it up. Obama is for forests, they want to burn them down. Obama is for building a better country, they want to tear it down.

    That’s it.

    I leave it to you to decide if there is some philosophical reason behind this hatred, or if they are just envious of his tan, but we are talking about the kind of people who will destroy their own health, businesses, and homes in order to make a point about someone who lives hundreds of miles away and is effectively immune to their protests.



  2. There should be a 150% carbon offset penalty for these drivers. Annually.


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