Illinois bill would make 'rolling coal' illegal

It's called "Rollin' Coal," and it's what the cool kids who don't like the EPA are doing. How does one roll coal? Take one diesel-powered vehicle, usually a pickup, remove its EPA-mandated emissions equipment and trick the ECU to run without them, then hit the road spewing clouds of black smoke. Apparently a road-going mod derived from changes made to vehicles in truck pulls, coal rollers say it's a way to rebel against government intrusion into our lives - as one practitioner asked, "Who does the EPA think they are to tell us what we can and can't do with our vehicles?"

Our favorite name for it is " pollution porn," earned through the tens of thousands of YouTube videos, Facebook, Instagram, and tumblr posts that show coal rollers blasting pedestrians, cyclists, and hybrids with diesel smoke. That's why Illinois General Assembly Representative Will Guzzardi has put forth a bill to levy a $5,000 fine on anyone who alters the EPA emission equipment in a way "that enhances the vehicle's capacity to emit soot, smoke, or other particulate emissions... into the air and onto roadways and other vehicles while operating the vehicle." The fine would come on top of any penalties enforced by the current law that prohibits emissions tampering.

Coal rollers say the practice does have one economic benefit: removing the emissions systems improves gas mileage by 30 percent or more. The video above tells the story of this latest twist on the "rebel yell."

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