When I first heard about it, I was convinced it had to be a joke.
ItÂ hadÂ to be.
No, this is a thing.
OnÂ Facebook. OnÂ Tumblr. OnÂ Instagram.
And now, in the air.
As reported byÂ Vocative, a new protest against President Barack Obama and environmentalists has taken to the streets:Â Rollinâ€™ Coal.Â The Facebook page reads as â€œfor all the diesel lovers out thereâ€ butÂ this community has apparently evolved into a statement against green drivers. How Rollinâ€™ Coal worksâ€”keeping it to the basics hereâ€”is modifying a pick-up truck to intentionallyÂ spew thick soot either from massive exhaust pipes or smoke stacks. TheÂ Rollinâ€™ Coal folks call thisÂ â€œPrius Repellantâ€ and post bothÂ video andÂ memes celebrating theirÂ â€œvictoriesâ€ on the road.Â The kits and the modifications,Â SlateÂ reports, are legalÂ (althoughÂ the EPA disagrees); but as one Wisconsin vendor tells reporters:
â€œI run into a lot of people that really donâ€™t like Obama at all. If heâ€™s into the environment, if heâ€™s into this or that, weâ€™re not. I hear a lot of that. To get a single stack on my truckâ€”thatâ€™s my way of giving them the finger. You want clean air and a tiny carbon footprint? Well, screw you.â€
Modifying your truck to protest clean air initiatives? Thatâ€™s about as smart as staging a protest ofÂ â€œI donâ€™t like khakis, so Iâ€™m going to wear my blue jeans and fart in your face becauseÂ khakis.â€Â Such is this the latest protest against our President and environmentalists.
Okay, setting aside theÂ American Cancer Societyâ€™s findings to diesel exhaust attributing to adverse effectsÂ to oneâ€™s health, letâ€™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.Â According to collected statistics from Fordâ€™s website, the overall mileage for all 2014 F-150 Models:
- 14 miles (city)
- 20 miles (highway)
- 16 miles (combined)
Compared to the United Statesâ€™ top-selling plug-in EV, worldâ€™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 Iâ€™m standing.
But because of a photo opportunity in Detroit and anÂ appreciation of carcinogen-free air, this makes me a â€œnature nuffieâ€ driving an Obamamobile?
I canâ€™t really confirm or deny any of thatâ€”nor can I confirm or deny that the PresidentÂ hand-stitchesÂ the leather upholstery of each Volt coming off the assembly lineâ€”but I can vouchÂ for what GM has reportedÂ from their Volt network:Â
- 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 2Â½ months.
So if that makes me a nature nuffie (seriously, I knowÂ â€œnuffieâ€ is an insult, but itâ€™s got a charm to itâ€¦) driving on the farthest left of liberal agendas, okay then. Iâ€™ll make sure to scream out more statistics fromÂ Plug-In AmericaÂ andÂ Green Car ReportsÂ as youâ€™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 doesnâ€™t give me the right to key said commuterâ€™s truck or something just as obnoxious. This â€œRollinâ€™ Coalâ€ protest is just that: obnoxious. Donâ€™t take this nature nuffieâ€™s word for it though (okay, Iâ€™m kinda digging the word nuffie nowâ€¦), but fromÂ a website of the truck driving community:
â€œCan 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 â€˜rolling coalâ€™ protests. These articles portray turbo-diesel pickup truck owners in a light that won’t do any pickup truck owners any good.â€
If â€œRollinâ€™ Coalâ€ is accomplishing anything, itâ€™s perpetuating stereotypes. Exceedingly well, as this screen capture fromÂ Facebook post from July 8Â illustrates:
Look,Â if you want to modify your truck to improve performance and fuel efficiency, Iâ€™m all for that. Especially if you are using trucks for serious work. Better performance and increasing mileage is great. Iâ€™m not shaming those who drive trucks. Not at all. Iâ€™ve driven heavy duty vehicles, and full understand the need for them. I get that.
Rollinâ€™ Coal? Nope. I donâ€™t get that at all. Totally at a loss.
Iâ€™m such a nature nuffie.